07/13/2020 / By Isabelle Z.
A Chinese state-run air travel company is mandating that all its employees participate in trials for a coronavirus vaccine, according to leaked internal documents.
The company in question is TravelSky Technology, a firm that develops the technology used for air travel. They are controlled by the state-owned China TravelSky Holding Company and are the country’s main provider of information technology to the tourism and air travel industries. Their clients include airlines, air travel agencies, air cargo services and airports.
The workers are being strongly urged to get a candidate vaccine that is being developed by the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) as the country’s capital continues to deal with the latest coronavirus outbreak. The company had 7,476 employees as of December 2019.
The internal document, which was dated June 15, said: ”The vaccine has very good safety and effectiveness, and is ready to be applied to people in the case of an emergency.” It was leaked by a trusted source to the Epoch Times.
Although the document technically says that employees can “voluntarily” get the vaccine, Chinese company culture customarily uses this type of language to refer to policies that are, in fact, mandatory. For example, authorities in Beijing have stated that restaurant staff are free to choose whether or not they wish to take a nucleic acid test for COVID-19. However, if staff are unable to share their test results with authorities, they won’t be allowed to work.
The director of the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Environmental Science Program, Chan King-ming, said: “Taking these [unapproved] vaccines is risky. The vaccine might not work. The worst-case scenario is that it may infect people with the Wuhan pneumonia [coronavirus].”
TravelSky’s “request” essentially amounts to forcing its employees to participate in a clinical trial for the vaccine. Normally, a vaccine has to undergo large-scale trials to observe how extensive the protection they provide is, and that is something that ideally involves exposing people in real-life environments. That may be why these employees are being used in this way.
The problem here is that the coronavirus vaccines are being developed incredibly quickly, bypassing many of the normal protocols for testing and safety. There’s no telling what could happen in the long term when people are injected with the vaccine, but if other vaccines are any indication, it could cause severe reactions, render people infertile, cause permanent damage to their organs, or even kill them.
Many fear something similar could happen in America, where the rush to get vaccines to the market is no secret. In fact, a program known as “Operation WARP Speed” is looking to deliver hundreds of millions of rushed coronavirus vaccines to the market by the end of the year. Big Pharma firm such as Novavax, Astra-Zeneca and Moderna have been given millions of dollars to help bring these vaccines to market in record time; 100 million doses of the Novavax vaccine are set to go into production this fall.
This haste is very concerning, and only about half of Americans say that they would be willing to get a COVID-19 vaccine should scientists create a successful one. That’s according to a poll from the Associated Press–NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
A further 31 percent said they were unsure whether they would get vaccinated, while one out of five said they would refuse the vaccine. And although official death counts suggest that blacks and Hispanic Americans are more susceptible to coronavirus, the poll found that just a quarter of African-Americans and 37 percent of Hispanics would be willing to get a vaccine, compared to 56 percent of white people.
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