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COVID19

China promotes global vaccine equity

Updated: Feb 19, 2021 By ZHANG YUNBI and WANG XIAODONG CHINA DAILY Print
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A staff member checks tags on prefilled syringes of inactivated COVID-19 vaccine at packing line of Sinovac Life Sciences Co., Ltd. in Beijing, March 23, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Nation uses its strength in production chains to help boost capacity, FM says

China is contributing its fair share to help ease the global shortfall in COVID-19 vaccines as it expands assistance to countries in dire need, advances vaccine-related cooperation with eligible partners, boosts vaccine exports and gears up production.

Concerns are lingering globally about the widening gap between immunity and development around the world as high-income nations acquire more doses of vaccine than poorer countries, observers and international health agencies have warned.

China has offered COVID-19 vaccine assistance to 53 developing countries at their request, and it has exported or is exporting vaccines to 22 nations, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

The nation has also been using its strength in production chains to help other countries manufacture vaccines in China or locally in order to boost global production capacity, Wang said on Wednesday via video link at a United Nations Security Council open briefing on ensuring equitable access to vaccines.

During the Spring Festival holiday, China delivered vaccine shipments to seven countries.

Leaders of countries such as Hungary greeted the shipments' arrival at airports and expressed heartfelt thanks to China, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily news conference in Beijing on Thursday.

China has never sought geopolitical advantage in carrying out international cooperation on COVID-19 vaccines, never calculated any economic gains and never attached any political conditions, Wang said.

But countries continue to face "deficits" in vaccine production capacity and global distribution, Wang warned.

He said all parties should join hands to oppose nationalistic vaccine-related moves, promote fair distribution of vaccines, and in particular, make them accessible and affordable for developing countries, including those in conflicts.

"We must ensure that no country in need of the vaccine is left behind and no individual waiting for vaccination is neglected," Wang said.

As of Thursday, the coronavirus had infected more than 109 million people globally and killed over 2.4 million of them, according to the World Health Organization.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who also attended the virtual meeting, said vaccine equity is the biggest moral test before the global community and 130 countries have yet to receive a single dose of vaccine.

Major producers of COVID-19 vaccines in China are working around the clock to increase supply to meet global needs.

The currently available vaccines made by China cost less than others and can be preserved safely at higher temperatures, which makes them more accessible to developing countries, experts and industry insiders said.

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