China’s Health Attache to Sierra Leone, Zhou Shuisen has referred to the news of its country’s COVID-19 vaccine killing people as ‘baseless.’

This was according to a statement issued on their official Facebook page.

The statement they said was released after they saw news reports which attributed the death of a Sierra Leonean nurse to the intake of China’s COVID-19 vaccine donated to the country.

The news reports according to them were baseless because it was not scientifically proven that it was due to their vaccine which she received.

The statement reads as follow:

Our attention has been drawn to reports published by the Newstime Africa and the Standard-Times Newspaper on June 24 and June 25, 2021, respectively titled Hard-working midwife dies in Sierra Leone after taking Chinese-Manufactured Covid-19 Vaccine and How Nurse Eleanor Died After COVID-19 Vaccine. These two reports wantonly drew a hasty conclusion before getting scientifically proven evidence, linked the unfortunate passing away of a midwife in Sierra Leone with the administration of the Chinese manufactured Covid-19 vaccine, and made provocative slanders at the efficacy of the Chinese vaccine. This is totally misleading and unacceptable.

It is widely recognized that there is no vaccine in the world that is 100% effective and safe, and some people may have varying levels of adverse reactions after vaccine administration. Any person, if following the standard process of vaccination, is notified before the administration of the vaccine.

Up to now, over 1 billion doses of Chinese vaccines have been administered in and out of China with no single reported death case directly associated with the Chinese vaccine. The incidence of severe reactions is 0.07 out of 100,000 doses, which means the Chinese vaccine is very safe. The WHO has also listed the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.

The press release issued by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of the Republic of Sierra Leone on June 24, 2021, stated clearly that the deceased had chronic disease and no relationship has been established between the death and the vaccination so far. Irresponsible speculation and accusation against the Chinese vaccine are both unethical and vicious. 

The above-mentioned reports claimed that there were calls for the government of Sierra Leone to stop administering the vaccine to its nationals and that there was criticism against the government’s irresponsible behavior of not securing vaccines from reputable sources in the West to protect its people from such anomalies. The real intention is to tarnish the image of the Chinese vaccine and undermine the relevant cooperation between China and Africa. 

Faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, Africa is in dire need of vaccines. China is the first major country to respond swiftly to the request of African countries and has donated several rounds of vaccine to Africa. China will continue to do its best to help Africa in the fight against the pandemic.

In the communication with the Embassy, Mr. Philip Neville, editor of the Standard-Times, has regretted that its report had lost its credibility following the press release issued by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.

I believe that rumors stop at the wise.”