no mRNA jabs in China, day 426

The first person in the world to receive an mRNA Covid vaccine outside a clinical trial was Margaret Keenan, a 90-year-old Englishwoman, on Dec. 8, 2020.

In the 14 months since, more than 1 billion people worldwide have received more than 2 billion shots of mRNA.

None are in China.

A Chinese pharmaceutical company signed a deal to buy 100 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine a week after that first shot.

None have been given to anyone in China.

But wait!

This delay has a totally innocent explanation. National pride, ya see. The Chinese don’t want to admit they have to buy an American/German shot.

Yep, that’s the ticket.

Here’s the proof. Chinese pharmaceutical companies are also “developing” their own mRNA shot, called ARCoV.

They’re moving fast, too!

How fast.

The Chinese companies finished their preliminary human clinical trial of ARCoV on December 2, 2020. It covered all of 230 people.

Not 2021. 2020. BEFORE Margaret Keenan received her first dose.

14 months have passed since that trial finished.

It is not even clear that those Chinese companies have started human dosing in the larger “Phase 3” clinical trial that would be necessary before China can approve ARCoV. And nobody seems to know when the trial might be done.

“Most volunteers had now been recruited?” What does that even mean?

Here’s what is clear. The pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial - to the extent it exists at all - is being conducted entirely OUTSIDE China, in Indonesia and Mexico.

Which makes total sense. The People’s Republic is going to be in a huge hurry to give its own citizens a shot that has been tested on a grand total of 230 people inside China. In 2020.

I’m sure there’s a good explanation for all this.

I’m just not sure anyone outside Zhongnanhai is going to want to hear it.