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A Chinese citizen receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at Mong Ha Sports Complex in Macao, south China. Photo: Cheong Kam Ka/Xinhua via Getty Images

Multiple countries that eagerly inoculated their people with China's COVID vaccines face devastating new case surges.

Why it matters: This revelation undermines China’s vaccine diplomacy, which Beijing has prioritized in the developing world to win influence and commercial deals.

  • China loved the contrast with the U.S., which has been slow in allocating surplus vaccines abroad.
  • Now, developing countries are likely to look increasingly to the West, and not to Beijing, for vaccines.

"In the Seychelles, Chile, Bahrain and Mongolia, 50 to 68 percent of the populations have been fully inoculated, outpacing the United States," the N.Y. Times reports.

  • "All four ranked among the top 10 countries with the worst Covid outbreaks as recently as last week."
  • "And all four are mostly using shots made by two Chinese vaccine makers, Sinopharm and Sinovac Biotech."

By comparison, Israel used Pfizer and has 4.95 cases per million people, versus the Seychelles at 716 per million.

The bottom line: China has been offering countries tens of millions of vaccine doses.

  • But if people in these countries don’t want the shots, the U.S. could be back in the driver’s seat on vaccine diplomacy.

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Teens and adults missed 37 million vaccinations during COVID — Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker
Sep 29, 2021 - Health

CDC issues urgent advisory calling on pregnant people to get COVID vaccine

Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

The CDC issued "an urgent health advisory" on Wednesday urging people who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Why it matters: The CDC said it "strongly recommends" vaccination because its benefits for a pregnant person and the fetus outweigh the risks. It added that pregnant people with COVID-19 are at "increased risk" of outcomes such as preterm birth, stillbirth and admission of a newborn into the ICU.

Updated 6 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.