“COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made a global public good.” This is China’s firm determination, as announced by President Xi Jinping at the opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA), to promote cooperation with the world to ensure COVID-19 vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned into the most serious global public health emergency since the end of World War II. With more than 210 countries and regions hit, the virus has infected over 25 million people around the world, and claimed more than 840,000 lives.
Appropriate, safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines that all countries have equal access to are vital for the world’s recovery from the pandemic. China, in dealing with the COVID-19 infection, has been effectively containing the epidemic by making painstaking efforts and enormous sacrifices. The country has underscored its will on many occasions to work with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other governments to ensure vaccines are available in developing countries.
As a leading country in the field of COVID-19 vaccine R&D, China has approved nine vaccine candidates’ entry into clinical trials, of which four have been approved for Phase III clinical trials in foreign countries.
China’s vaccine companies strictly follow scientific and regulatory rules, as the country attaches great importance to safety and effectiveness. Chinese authorities and the companies expressed their support to the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX), and agreed to jointly advance global research, development, production and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday while communicating with the WHO.
To further ensure the vaccine’s accessibility worldwide, cooperation between China and developing countries has begun. The country will value its commitments and continue conducting international cooperation in COVID-19 vaccine R&D, manufacturing and distribution.
The COVID-19 pandemic is not over. Vaccines represent the key to beating the virus and paving the way to its eradication. As virus knows no boarders, the success of COVID-19 vaccines is not and cannot be a race with a few winners.
Only by taking a global view can we protect the world from the terrible effects of COVID-19. China has proposed building a global community of health for all, and will remain in close communication with WHO and COVAX sponsors to provide the world a safe, effective and high-quality global public good once the vaccines succeed.