Official from China criticizes’some countries’ for vaccinating citizens before sharing supplies with others.
China compared its proposal to offer COVID-19 vaccines to many African countries to other countries’ commitments as an altruistic show of “vaccine diplomacy.”
“Some countries have said they have to wait for their own citizens to finish the vaccination before they can supply the vaccines to foreign countries,” Wu Peng, the director of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Africa Department, told reporters. This seemed to be a response to allegations that the US is stockpiling vaccines.
“Of course, we believe it is important to ensure that the Chinese people are vaccinated as soon as possible, but we also do our utmost to provide vaccine assistance to other countries in need,” Wu said.
President Joe Biden of the United States announced on Monday that an additional 20 million vaccine doses would be distributed in the coming weeks, but he did not specify which countries will receive them. The United States has agreed to share 80 million vaccine doses in total.
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The doses would come from Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine stocks in the United States. By the end of June, the administration had promised to distribute about 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
On Wednesday, the United Nations Security Council called for the rapid availability of COVID-19 vaccines in Africa, voicing concern that the continent has only received about 2% of all vaccines administered worldwide.
The need for “equitable access” to quality, accessible COVID-19 studies, therapies, and vaccines was reiterated in a presidential statement agreed by all 15 members at a council meeting on African issues.
According to an Associated Press tally, China’s vaccine diplomacy has been a resounding success, with more than half a billion doses of its vaccines promised to more than 45 countries.
With only four of China’s several vaccine manufacturers claiming to be able to generate at least 2.6 billion doses this year, a substantial portion of the world’s population will be inoculated with China’s modest, typically produced shots rather than the fancy Western vaccines boasting headline-grabbing efficacy rates.
Egypt will begin locally manufacturing China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine in June, after Sinovac provided expertise and technical assistance to the Egyptian side, as well as a license to manufacture and pack the vaccine. This is a condensed version of the information.