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China slips in COVID-19 vaccine race on doubts over effectiveness

Xi made inoculation diplomacy a key part of global strategy

A Sinovac production line for the coronavirus vaccine at its Beijing site. (Photo by Shin Watanabe)

BEIJING -- China's vaccine diplomacy faces a setback as questions arise about the efficacy and safety of its coronavirus inoculations while the country speeds a large-scale rollout despite the candidates remaining in the clinical trial phase.

Beijing once led the global race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, but U.S. and European pharmaceutical firms are close to bringing candidates to market.

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