Follow CAP on Social Media

Listen to the CAP Podcast

China’s Leading Respiratory Disease Expert Warns Sinovac, Sinopharm Vaccines Vulnerable to South African Variant

File image of Chinese respiratory expert Zhong Nanshang speaking at a conference in Guangzhou. Image via Xinhua.

China’s famed respiratory disease expert Zhong Nanshang (photo) issued a new warning over the weekend about the vulnerabilities of Chinese COVID-19 vaccines that use so-called inactive agents and their ability to hold up against new variants.

Zhong acknowledged at a medical forum on Saturday that both Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines showed reduced efficacy against the B.1.351 variant that was first detected in South Africa.

  • Get a daily email packed with the latest China-Africa news and analysis.
  • Read exclusive insights on the key trends shaping China-Africa relations.
  • Full access to the News Feed that provides daily updates on Chinese engagement in Africa and throughout the Global South.

China, Africa and the Global South... find out what’s happening.

Subscribe today for unlimited access.

What is The China-Africa Project?


The CAP is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Africa stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalist and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Africa discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.