Xu Peng | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images
China on Friday said it has joined the World Health Organization co-led global Kovid-19 vaccine initiative, the largest economy ever pledged to help purchase and distribute shots objectively Has been made.
The move by China, where the new coronovirus was first reported, comes in separate negotiations with the WHO to evaluate its locally produced Kovid-19 vaccine for international use.
It also comes amid international criticism of Beijing’s handling of the epidemic, which gave rise to unfavorable views towards China in a recent survey of advanced countries.
A statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday did not provide details on the basis that Beijing would deliver the program, known as COVAX, although President Xi Jinping has spent the next two years helping to combat the epidemic. I pledged in May 2 billion that so far has claimed more than 1 million lives.
Hua Chunying, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said in the statement, “We are taking this concrete step to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to developing countries, and hopefully more competent countries will also join and COVAX’s will support.”
The COVAX initiative aims to deliver at least 2 billion doses of vaccines by the end of 2021.
China joins some 168 countries that have already announced their participation in COVAX, including 76 wealthy, self-financiers. But neither the US nor Russia have participated in the event.
COVAX is co-led by the GAVI Vaccine Alliance, WHO and the Epidemiological Preparedness Innovations for Alliance. It is designed to discourage national governments from hoarding Kovid-19 vaccines and to focus on immunizing the most at-risk people in every country.
Hua of the Chinese Foreign Ministry also said in Friday’s statement that China has Kovid-19 vaccine manufacturing capabilities and would prefer to supply to developing countries when the vaccine is ready.
China has at least four experimental vaccines in the final stages of clinical trials – two developed by the state-backed China National Biotech Group, and the remaining two from Synovac Biotech and Casino Biologics, respectively.
This has led to thousands of essential workers and other groups perceived as high risk, even as clinical trials were not fully completed, raising safety concerns among experts.