The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines provided by China for Egypt arrive in Cairo, Feb. 23, 2021. (Photo from the official website of the Chinese Embassy in Egypt)
The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines provided by China for Egypt arrive in Cairo, Feb. 23, 2021. (Photo from the official website of the Chinese Embassy in Egypt)

By Du Yifei

China’s international cooperation on COVID-19 aims to protect the lives, safety and health of more people, said Zhang Yesui, spokesperson for the fourth session of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s top legislature, at a press conference on March 4.

The cooperation has no geopolitical purpose and the vaccines provided by China have no political strings attached, he added.

The spokesperson remarked that nothing is more important than people’s lives, safety and health. He hopes that more capable countries can take actions and offer vaccines for the international society, especially developing countries, to contribute their part to the international cooperation on COVID-19.

Zhang called on the international society to make joint efforts to promote fair distribution and use of COVID-19 vaccines, especially the affordability and accessibility of safe and effective vaccines in developing countries. Chinese President Xi Jinping announced at the 73rd World Health Assembly that COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made a global public good. This will be China’s contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.

So far, China has 17 COVID-19 vaccines that are going through a clinical trial, four of which have gained conditional approval for entering the market. Besides, multiple Chinese vaccines have been approved for phase-3 clinical tests overseas, and four have been granted market approval or emergency use in a batch of foreign countries.

Zhang introduced that China has provided or is providing free vaccine assistance to over 60 countries, and the country has declared to provide 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the COVAX vaccine distribution plan to meet the urgent demands in developing countries.

So far, over 40 countries have purchased COVID-19 vaccines or are in discussion with China regarding the purchase, Zhang said, adding that most of them are developing countries.

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