BEIJING, Aug. 6 (Xinhua) -- China's commitment and endeavors made to promote global cooperation on COVID-19 vaccines have earned praise from experts, officials of international organizations and countries across the world.
China will strive to provide 2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to the world throughout 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.
World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday that the global health body "is very grateful for President Xi's announcement that China will contribute 100 million dollars to COVAX, for immediate use."
The WHO thanked Xi "for this very generous contribution, which will help to save lives around the world."
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, who attended the meeting online, expressed "Egypt's appreciation for the support provided by China" in boosting the production capacity of COVID-19 vaccines in developing countries.
The two countries have recently celebrated the joint production of 1 million doses of the Chinese Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine in Egypt.
The WHO expects countries, which are capable of offering COVID-19 vaccines to others, to send the doses to the COVAX facility, so that all countries could get equitable and effective access to the vaccine, said Lei Dianliang, a scientist with the WHO's Department of Health Products Policy and Standards.
China, Lei said, has made a remarkable contribution to the push for global vaccination, since Chinese researchers have cooperated with their peers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Brazil, Pakistan and others in conducting phase III clinical trials, and sent vaccine concentrate to countries including Egypt, the UAE, Pakistan and Malaysia for local production and packaging, addressing vaccine shortage in the countries to some extent.
Anthony Zwi, a professor of Global Health and Development at Australia's University of New South Wales, said the pandemic will be defeated only if the international community works together -- collaboratively and in solidarity with the peoples of the world.
Noting that equity in vaccine distribution is essential to overcoming the pandemic, the scholar called on the international community to work together to ensure priority populations worldwide are immunized with good-quality, safe, and effective vaccines.