China pledges 2bn Covid vaccine doses to the world: Prez
China will provide 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines to the world in 2021, President Xi Jinping said on Thursday.
In a written address to an international coronavirus cooperation forum, Xi added that China was also willing to donate $100 million to the Covax global vaccine distribution scheme, the news agency Xinhua reported.
“China will provide 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines for the world and offer $100 million to Covax throughout this year,” the Xinhua report said, quoting the Chinese president.
China, Xi said, has always adhered to the concept of a human health community, provided vaccines to the world, especially developing countries, and actively carried out cooperative production. “This is what vaccines are supposed to do as a global public good. China will continue to do everything in its power to help developing countries cope with the outbreak,” Xi was quoted as saying.
In May, 2020, in a speech at the 73rd World Health Assembly, Xi had pledged that China will make its coronavirus vaccine a global public good once available, a promise he repeated in April this year at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021.
Besides administering more than 1.7 billion doses of vaccines within the country, Beijing has exported and donated the largest number of jabs globally - despite concerns over the safety and efficacy of China-made shots.
China has so far provided more than 700 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines overseas and, over the next four months, will provide 110 million doses to Covax, a global vaccine-sharing initiative, the Chinese foreign ministry said in late July.
It has also donated some 26 million jabs worldwide.
Chinese vaccine companies have started joint production in many countries including the UAE, Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt, Brazil, Turkey, Pakistan, and Mexico, with producing capacity exceeding 200 million doses.
Xi’s statement on Thursday comes in the backdrop of China experiencing the worst Delta variant-driven Covid-19 outbreak since last year.
Over 500 locally transmitted cases have been reported from across the country, triggering mass testing, lockdowns, and restrictions on travel.
The ongoing outbreak has spread to Wuhan, where the coronavirus was first detected in late 2019, which had been virus-free since China contained the initial outbreak there early last year.
The city has detected 19 cases as of August 4 and is currently testing its entire population of 12 million people.
A total of 85 new confirmed Covid-19 cases were detected for August 4, down from 96 a day earlier, data from the national health commission (NHC) showed on Thursday; 62 were locally transmitted.
As of August 4, mainland China had recorded 93,374 confirmed cases, with the cumulative death toll unchanged at 4,636.