China to push ahead equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines
By He Yin
China announced earlier that it would provide 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the global vaccine sharing initiative COVAX to meet the urgent needs of developing countries, showing a strong sense of responsibility at such a critical moment.
It is another major move of China to promote equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, push ahead international anti-pandemic cooperation and put into practice the vision of building a community of common health for mankind.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), recently warned that the unfair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide would cause severe impacts.
He called on countries to work together in solidarity to ensure that within the first 100 days of this year, vaccination of health workers and older people is underway in all countries.
China also attaches great importance to the difficulties facing the practical implementation of COVAX, in particular the huge vaccine supply gap in February and March.
Back in May 2020, China promised that COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, would be made a global public good, which would be China’s contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.
A batch of inactivated COVID-19 vaccines donated by the Chinese government to Pakistan had arrived in the latter’s capital Islamabad on Feb. 1. It was the first batch of vaccines provided by the Chinese government to a foreign country.
Besides Pakistan, China is providing aid in the form of COVID-19 vaccines to 13 developing countries including Brunei, Nepal, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Palestine, Belarus, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, and Equatorial Guinea, and will aid 38 more developing countries in need of COVID-19 vaccines.
Containing the COVID-19 pandemic is considered as the most pressing task for the international community, and China has kept its promise in a way that addresses the urgent need of the world.
Tom Fowdy, a British political and international relations analyst, commented that China’s vaccines are the products that most of the world will accept.
Chinese vaccines could offer a lifeline to developing countries, according to an article recently published on The New York Times.
The international society has widely acknowledged the safety and efficacy of Chinese vaccines. They are considered reliable by clinical trials in multiple countries, as well as reports published on The Lancet.
Preliminary statistics indicate that over 40 countries have shown intention to import Chinese vaccines, and some countries have approved the use of China’s vaccines.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President of Seychelles Wavel Ramkalawan led by example to take COVID-19 vaccines; Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic waited for the first batch of Chinese vaccines in cold wind at an airport apron; Chilean President Sebastian Pinera attended the ceremony for the arrival of Chinese vaccines.
Foreign countries believe that Chinese vaccines have shed light at the end of a tunnel. They say the safe, sure, and secure vaccines came at a time when they were going through the most difficult period and needed them the most. These comments expressed their gratitude for the Chinese assistance, as well as their confidence in the Chinese vaccines.
The pandemic tests the conscience of governments and examines how countries balance between justice and benefits.
It can never be overemphasized that wealth is not a criterion for judging whether a person can enjoy the right to life and health.
To uphold fairness and justice requires making vaccines a public product accessible and affordable to people in developing countries and providing assistance for countries and regions that are relatively vulnerable to the pandemic.
Viruses know no borders. To defeat the pandemic, mankind must rely on science and rationality, promote the spirit of humanitarianism, and fight against it with the most powerful weapons – solidarity and cooperation.