Funny story: the Chinese want NOTHING to do with mRNA Covid vaccines. (Xi, I wonder why.)

So the Financial Times had another elite media howler last week: the Chinese are desperate (desperate I say!) to get themselves an mRNA vaccine.

Yep, the Chinese just can’t WAIT to give an mRNA vaccine to their people. They’re rushing ahead.



In March 2020, BioNTech and a Chinese drug company called Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical announced a deal for Fosun to sell BioNTech’s Covid vaccines in China: “The two companies will work jointly on the development of BNT162 in China.” Fosun even said it would invest $50 million in BioNTech stock.

Again - this was March 2020, not 2021, roughly the same time BioNTech made a similar deal with Pfizer.

The two companies moved forward quickly.

In November 2020, just after Pfizer and BioNTech announced the topline results from their worldwide pivotal clinical trial (95% percent protection against infection! Covid is DONE, y’all!) they said they had moved the BioNTech vaccine into Phase 2 trials in China.

A month later, even as that trial was still scaling up, they had the biggest news yet.

Fosun would buy 100 million doses of the BioNTech vaccine for Chinese use, with delivery expected in 2021.

In late April 2021, BioNTech’s chief executive predicted that the vaccine would win approval and be available in China by July “at the latest.”

Barely two weeks later, in May 2021, Fosun and BioNTech had decided 100 million doses was not enough. They announced a deal to build a Chinese plant with the capacity to make 1 billion vaccine doses annually.

By mid-July, Chinese media outlets were reporting that the Chinese government was reviewing the BioNTech vaccine, with trial production expected to begin in August.

Since then, crickets.

More than a year after Fosun said it would import mRNA vaccines to China, and six months after Chinese regulators supposedly reviewed the clinical trial results, the vaccine remains unavailable.

Instead, in November, the Chinese announced that they had supposedly begun trials on their own mRNA vaccine. No one seems to have any idea when those trials will be finished, but they have the effect of resetting the clock and giving the bluecheck geniuses at places like the FT a way to pretend that the Chinese are moving aggressively ahead with mRNA.

Of course, given that Covid has essentially been nonexistent in China since February 2020, maybe the scientists in the People’s Republic know something the rest of us don’t.

Nah! That’s impossible. They’d definitely tell us, right?