Chinese COVID-19 vaccine will be available for all
China will make its coronavirus vaccine a global public good once it becomes available, President Xi Jinping told the governing body of the World Health Organization.
China announced on Monday it will provide $2 billion over two years to help with COVID-19 response and with economic and social development in affected countries, especially developing countries.
President Xi Jinping made the announcement during a speech at a virtual event opening the 73rd session of the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization. The pandemic has affected more than 7 billion people and taken more than 310,000 lives globally.
Given that developing countries, particularly African countries, have weaker public health systems, Xi said that helping them build capacity must be the top priority in COVID-19 response. He called on the world to provide more material, technological and personnel support for African countries.
Xi said China will establish a cooperation mechanism for its hospitals to pair with 30 African hospitals and accelerate the building of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters to help the continent ramp up its disease preparedness and control capacity.
Since the outbreak, China has sent a tremendous amount of medical supplies and assistance to over 50 African countries and the African Union, and five Chinese medical expert teams have also been sent to the continent.
Xi also said China is ready to work with the international community to bolster support for the hardest-hit countries under the greatest strain from debt service so that they could be given some help with current difficulties.
The country will work with other Group of 20 members to implement the G20's Debt Service Suspension Initiative for the poorest countries, he said.
With the virus still raging, the president stressed that the most urgent task is to make all-out efforts in COVID-19 control and treatment.
According to Xi, it is also necessary to step up information sharing and exchanges of experience and best practices, and to pursue international cooperation on testing methods, clinical treatment, and vaccine and medicine research and development.
He said that COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made a global public good, as China's contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.
The president said that China supports the idea of a comprehensive review of the global response to COVID-19 after it is brought under control to sum up the experience and address deficiencies.
"This work should be based on science and professionalism, led by the WHO and conducted in an objective and impartial manner," he added.