HONG KONG, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- China is playing a leading role in addressing the widening gap in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines between richer and poorer countries, said an opinion piece published in the South China Morning Post recently.
China will strive to provide 2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to the world this year and offer 100 million U.S. dollars to COVAX, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Thursday in a written message to the first meeting of the International Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine Cooperation, which was jointly held by 23 countries via video links.
At the forum, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that 11 billion more doses of vaccines are needed to inoculate 70 percent of the world's population against the disease, said the article.
There are growing concerns about the divide in worldwide inoculation rates, said the article, adding that World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last week that high-income countries had administered almost 100 doses for every 100 people, compared with just 1.5 doses for every hundred in poorer countries.
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi also told the forum that China would step up its vaccine help to developing countries, including through technology transfers and cooperative production.
"China has been a major vaccine provider during the pandemic, mainly through its Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines that have been added to the WHO's emergency use lists," said the article.