China joins COVAX coronavirus vaccine alliance

China joins COVAX coronavirus vaccine alliance

At a press briefing after the announcement, China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying called the decision to join "an important step China has taken to uphold the concept of a shared community of health for all and to honor its commitment to turn COVID-19 vaccines into a global public good". Initially, China did not agree to join the alliance, after missing an early deadline to join in September. The United States, for example, has booked 800 million doses through six developers.

In May this year, President Xi Jinping said China will provide $2 billion over two years to help other countries respond to the impact of the pandemic, which originated in China's Wuhan.

The Trump administration has refused to take part in COVAX, partly because the effort is co-led by the World Health Organization, which the White House describes as "corrupt" and has accused of initially aiding China in covering up the scope of the pandemic.

A WHO-led initiative to make coronavirus vaccine accessible to all received a boost on Friday with China announcing its intention to join the initiative.

Parents were also more willing to accept less rigorous testing if they were anxious that they had COVID-19 at the time they completed the survey.

The country has reported just over 1,500 cases, including 25 deaths, far less than most other developed nations. "This unique vaccine and manufacturing capability will be significant additions to COVAX", said Ding.

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He explained the now working on producing all six potential vaccines across more than 23 manufacturing facilities. The move could also help China in pushing its own vaccines through the COVAX facility.

Ding said that being in COVAX is a win-win for China and the world.

China could be trying to ensure that the vaccines it is developing find a global platform.

World Health Organization says the COVAX Facility will also maintain a buffer of doses for emergency and humanitarian use, including dealing with severe outbreaks before they spiral out of control.

"Vaccine deals are underway and we are fast approaching our initial fundraising target to jumpstart support for lower-income countries", GAVI's chief executive, Dr Seth Berkley, told Reuters in a statement.

Around a dozen vaccine candidates, including at least five partly or wholly developed by Chinese organizations, are now undergoing phase 3 clinical trials, which test their safety and efficacy on thousands of people before they are submitted for approval.

Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac, for example, recently said it wants to provide its vaccine to the world, including the US and countries in Europe with stringent regulations that have prevented previous Chinese vaccines from being sold. Without that data, it is unclear how safe and effective any of the experimental Chinese vaccines are.

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