News analysis

China’s decision not to import mRNA vaccines leaves it in a bind

As China shifts away from its zero-Covid approach, experts say it is probably too late to import mRNA vaccines. PHOTO: AFP
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BEIJING - Early on in the pandemic, mRNA Covid-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna were widely shown to be more effective than Chinese-made shots, but Beijing made the decision not to import these foreign vaccines.

China instead bet that local vaccine makers would be able to catch up and develop more effective shots, a decision that experts say was motivated by vaccine nationalism and national security concerns.

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