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China playing exemplary role making vaccines public goods: China Daily editorial

China Daily | Updated: 2021-08-06 08:08

Donated doses of a COVID-19 vaccine from China's Sinovac Biotech, as well as syringes, await unloading at an international airport in Zanzibar, Tanzania, on July 31, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

In his message to the first meeting of the international forum on COVID-19 vaccine cooperation held via video link on Thursday, President Xi Jinping pledged China will provide 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for the world and $100 million for the COVAX program.

These are China's latest contributions to the global fight against the novel coronavirus; the country having already provided the world with 700 million vaccine doses.

Presided over by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the event was first proposed by President Xi as part of a host of measures to support global solidarity against the pandemic at the Global Health Summit on May 21.

The meeting brought together the foreign ministers or officials in charge of vaccine cooperation work from different countries, representatives from international organizations, including the United Nations, as well as relevant companies, providing them with a platform to strengthen exchanges on vaccine supply and distribution.

When releasing its 2021 World Trade Statistical Review on July 30, the World Trade Organization warned that the trade in goods contracted 8 percent last year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the trade in services shrank by 21 percent. Their recovery depends on the fast and fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

And on Wednesday, the World Health Organization called on the rich countries to halt their booster shot campaigns so that more vaccines can go to the less-developed countries. According to the WHO, the low-income countries have only been able to administer 1.5 doses for every 100 people due to their lack of vaccines.

It is more than disgusting that some rich countries would rather have millions of doses of vaccines expire in warehouses than provide them for the needy in poorer countries.

That said, the forum was a confidence booster for developing countries that they will have better access to the vaccines, as it provided the participating countries and international organizations with the opportunity to directly communicate with the major Chinese vaccine producers-whose annual production capacity has hit 5 billion doses now-on not only direct supplies of the vaccines but also possible cooperation for their localized production.

Such a to-the-point meeting with its practical outcomes is in sharp contrast to the talk shops some rich countries have hosted on vaccine access for developing countries.

Viewing the world as a community with a shared future, China has always advocated mutual assistance and international solidarity to address the public health crisis. That is why it is doing all it can to help the less-developed countries fight against the virus.

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