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China hailed for seeking vaccine equity in world
update:August 06,2021
Aug. 6, 2021 -- China has been vigorously engaged in cooperation with developing economies, especially those in Africa, in such ways as delivering COVID-19 vaccines and providing other anti-pandemic aid, to help these nations get through the global crisis.
Saramady Toure, Guinea's ambassador to China, said in an interview with People's Daily in late July that China has always been a reliable friend to Guinea and has given a hand to Guinea whenever the country faces a public health problem.
He said that in addition to medical supplies and experts offered by China to help the country fight the novel coronavirus, the vaccination campaign against COVID-19, with assistance from China, has been underway in Guinea and is benefiting its people.
China is working relentlessly to make COVID-19 vaccines an accessible and affordable public good in developing economies, including those in Africa, to push forward the equal distribution of vaccines.
China has so far provided more than 750 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines overseas and, over the next four months, will have provided 110 million doses to COVAX, a global vaccine-sharing initiative, the Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
In addition, China has shown its kindness to the world by donating 26 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines overseas and had provided more than 500 million doses, as well as bulk vaccine, to over 100 countries, regions and international organizations by the end of July-roughly one-sixth of the world's total COVID-19 vaccine output.
According to a report released by the Institute of Boao Forum for Asia and Renmin University of China in Beijing in late July, China's COVID-19 vaccine output and the quantity of its exports by the end of May were listed as No 1 among major economies.
The country's volume of COVID-19 vaccine exports was 227 percent higher than that of the European Union and 84 times that of the United States, according to the report.
Africa has been one of the main recipients of vaccines exported by China. Other recipients include economies in Southeast Asia and Latin America. The report said that 31 countries and regions in Africa have bought or received donations of COVID-19 vaccines from China, and the number is expected to continue rising.
In addition to Guinea, other African beneficiaries include the Republic of Congo and Gabon, which have been receiving vaccine aid from China since February.
Rufaro Muchirahondo, a 47-yearold teacher in Zimbabwe, gave a sigh of relief after receiving her first dose of the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare.
"I work with children at the school where I teach, so I think it is important for me to get vaccinated. It is the right thing for me to be safe and to prevent the spread of the virus," she added.
Annatoria Bwanya, a 64-year-old coach in Zimbabwe, said the vaccination process was easy and smooth, adding that she was given priority as a senior citizen.
"It was just an ordinary injection, and I'm feeling fine. I would encourage anyone, particularly older people, to get jabbed to help contain the virus," she said after receiving her first dose of the Sinopharm vaccine at Pairirenyatwa Hospital.
Africa's need for vaccines is still urgent, since the pandemic remains rampant on the continent.
On July 29, countries of the World Health Organization African Region held an online news conference, saying that Africa needs another 700 million doses to ensure that 30 percent of the population of the continent can be inoculated by the end of this year.
In addition to official cooperation between the Chinese government and other partners, China is providing nongovernmental assistance to developing countries in fighting the pandemic.
On July 12, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation announced that Sinopharm and Sinovac will provide a total of 550 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the COVAX initiative.
The preorder-with 380 million from Sinovac and 170 million by Sinopharm-starts this month and will finish by the first half year of 2022, according to the alliance's announcement.
On July 5, Sinopharm signed a memorandum of understanding on COVID-19 vaccine research with Morocco to begin cooperation on vaccine production.
Liu Jingzhen, chairman of Sinopharm, said at the signing ceremony that their cooperation will give strong support in helping Morocco fight the pandemic and will contribute to building a healthy community with a shared future.
Tonderayi Mukeredzi in Harare contributed to this story.
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