Recent Brazilian allegations of financial irregularities pertaining to the purchase order of Bharat Pharmaceuticals covid-19 vaccine are troubling. The Bharat order has been cancelled.
Allegations that Bharat diverted approximately 15% of the contract price, on a 20 million dose Brazilian vaccine order, via an intermediary in Singapore, implies bureaucrats and/or government officials received a substantial kickback in order to contract for vaccine.
This begs an important question, but thus far non-stated. Why, in a global pandemic, when even moderately effective vaccines are in extremely short supply, would an effective vaccine NEED to offer up a 15% bribe in order to sell the product?
One possible answer is that at least one of the “not mRNA” vaccines may be far less effective than advertised; so much so, and so knowingly so, that direct, substantial, financial kickbacks are required to sell it.
If that is the case for one producer, could it also apply to other producers selling into lesser developed nations? Vaccines produced by Astra-Zeneca, Sputnik-V, Gamalaya, Sinovac, CansinoBio are now primarily limited to rollout in developing nations; are some of these vaccines only marginally more effective than traditional influenza boosters, which is to say, less than 50% effective overall in real world settings? Had multiple vaccines received emergency approval primarily to provide an illusion of safety for those in the developing world under the assumption that something is better than nothing?
Have too many of us bought into marketing terms that don’t indicate vaccines completely or even partially prevent infection, but, rather, merely reduce the risk of hospitalization? Just what does that term even mean, “reducing the likelihood of hospitalization”, in nations where hospitals are a luxury only for the rich, or when the population is sufficiently youthful that an overwhelming number of those who contract Covid-19 are unlikely to require a hospital visit? Is this “hospitalization reduction” term something drummed by marketers primarily to sell the myth of protection?
Given the pick-up in cases where non-mRNA vaccines were utilized, it might be that few of the non-mRNA vaccines are anywhere remotely close to replicating test efficacy ratings, in the real world. If that is the case, the several billions of non-mRNA doses to be jabbed in 2021 may be a largely wasted exercise. This could then lead to a full revaccination, with an alternative vaccine, in the near future. A “something is better than nothing” policy approach to global health can represent a failing, both for the safety of the public and for the public purse. There is a reason that annual influenza shots have poor global uptake; on the whole, they are ineffective and no amount of government PR can overcome the reputable data any consumer can freely obtain with a smartphone.
Such an acknowledgement should play completely into the wheelhouse of messenger RNA vaccine producers, who are benefitting from pronounced vaccine bias by consumers, even in developing nations. Poor public policy choices may entrench vaccine bias in favor of messenger RNA producers, away from non-RNA vaccines.