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In new impetus for vaccine diplomacy, Chinese Xi Jinping pledged to give Africa one billion vaccines

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Chinese President Xi Jinping

Chinese leader Xi Jinping pledged this week to give Africa a billion vaccines.Xinhua / Rao Aimin via Getty Images

  • Chinese leader Xi Jinping has pledged to give Africa a billion vaccines.

  • The company, announced on Monday, comes as the world discusses the new Omicron variant.

  • Xi added that China will send 1,500 health experts to the mainland.

In a new push for vaccine diplomacy, Chinese leader Xi Jinping has pledged to send more than a billion additional doses of vaccine to Africa.

“To help meet Africa’s goal of vaccinating 60% of its population against COVID-19 by 2022, China will give Africa one billion doses of the vaccine,” Xi said in a statement. . speech in Beijing on Monday.

Of that amount, 600 million doses will be donations from China, while the remaining 400 million will be donated to Africa through channels such as joint production collaborations between Chinese companies and their African counterparts.

Xi also announced that China will send 1,500 health experts to Africa to help build health projects.

The Chinese leader noted that China has already sent 200 million doses of vaccines to South Africa, mainly from Chinese stocks of its locally produced Sinopharm COVID-19 shots.

In September, the China’s Foreign Ministry says it has completed delivery of some 1.1 billion doses of vaccine from China to more than 100 countries. The latest pledge will bring the total number of vaccine doses donated by China to more than two billion.

However, observers questioned the effectiveness of Chinese vaccines after countries like Seychelles which took the hit of Sinopharm from China and used it for more than half of the country’s doses recorded a marked increase in cases of the virus despite the fact that 60% of the population is fully vaccinated.

Xi’s announcement comes less than a week after the Omicron coronavirus variant area. The variant was first reported to the World Health Organization by South Africa. Although much is still unknown about the variant, its more than 50 mutations have led the WHO to warn that it represents a “very high” overall risk.

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