CHINA China committed to facilitating equitable vaccine distribution globally

CHINA

China committed to facilitating equitable vaccine distribution globally

Xinhua

21:19, June 22, 2021

BEIJING, June 22 (Xinhua) -- Delta, the highly infectious coronavirus variant, has been reported in more than 90 countries and regions across the world, highlighting the urgency to mount a herd immunity defense through mass vaccination.

Workers unload China-donated COVID-19 vaccines from a Chinese cargo plane in Vientiane, Laos, on June 14, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

Some developing countries are left in scarcity of vaccines as certain countries have hoarded COVID-19 vaccines several folds more than the amount needed to vaccinate their populations.

To solve the problems of insufficient production capacity and an unbalanced distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, China has put forward its proposals on multiple international forums.

At the 73rd World Health Assembly in May 2020, China made a solemn commitment to making COVID-19 vaccines a "global public good," offering its assistance in promoting fair accessibility to vaccines and affordability for developing countries.

At the Global Health Summit in late May, China called for the rejection of vaccine nationalism in a bid to make vaccines more accessible and affordable in the developing world.

China spares no effort to deliver on its promise in championing international cooperation in fighting the pandemic.

Despite a tight supply and huge domestic demand, China has provided over 350 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the international community, including vaccine aid provided for over 80 developing countries and those exported to more than 40 countries.

China has also pledged to provide the first batch of 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to COVAX, an initiative aimed to promote equitable access to vaccines initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Most recently, the first batch of vaccines produced by China's Sinopharm to be delivered to COVAX has rolled off the production line.

The vaccines provided by Sinopharm feature all-English packaging, a new technology that attaches temperature sensor to the vial, and updated product information in accordance with the WHO standards.

On June 1, the WHO validated the CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech for emergency use.

The world desperately needs multiple COVID-19 vaccines to address the huge inequity in access across the globe, said Mariangela Simao, WHO Assistant Director-General for Access to Medicines and Health Products.

Sinopharm's vaccine had already been validated for WHO emergency use earlier this year. The two Chinese vaccines are expected to help alleviate the problem of access inequity.

To further ease the shortage of supply, Chinese companies have accelerated their efforts to jointly produce and develop vaccines with other countries.

Sinopharm and Abu Dhabi-based technology company Group 42 (G42) have jointly launched a vaccine plant in the United Arab Emirates.

Sinovac has conducted productive cooperations with Brazilian partners. Clinical experiments involving 12,000 local medical workers have proven the safety and effectiveness of its vaccine.

In addition to providing finished products, the company has also exported semi-finished jabs to some countries and authorized local filling and packaging, said Yin Weidong, chairman of Sinovac.

Such authorized production has enabled these countries to boost their vaccination rates, Yin said, adding that the company expects more countries to participate in the authorized local production mode, which is the best way for increasing vaccine supply.

Three Chinese companies are currently co-producing vaccines with eight countries, according to Mao Junfeng, an official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Mao added that co-production plans with 10 more countries are currently under discussion.

In the future, China will further promote its vaccine companies to transfer technologies to more developing countries and support the companies to carry out overseas production.


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