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China provides vaccines in more countries, fulfills promise

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A worker from Chinese continental vaccine manufacturer Sinovac checks shots at CoronaVac’s COVID-19 vaccine that will leave its warehouse in Beijing for Hong Kong on Wednesday. Photo: Courtesy of Sinovac

The recent Spring Festival not only witnessed an energetic Chinese society revived by the COVID-19 epidemic, but also the growing importance of China’s COVID-19 vaccines to the world as more countries and regions are accepting Chinese vaccines as a lifeline. rescue amid the still-destroying COVID-19 pandemic.

Experts said this is a strong demonstration of global confidence in China’s vaccines and that China is fulfilling its promise to secure its vaccines as a public good, rebuking foreign media defamation and politicization of the country’s vaccines. .

Hong Kong Food and Health Bureau (FHB) Secretary Sophia Chan would consider the experts’ suggestions and make a decision on approving the SSinovac vaccine as soon as possible, the Hong Kong government website said. The SAR on Tuesday, following Wallace Lau Chakingsing, caller to the Hong Kong Vaccine Advisory Panel COVID-19, told the media that the Advisory Panel had reviewed the materials on the SSinovac vaccine and thought vaccine approval would outweigh risks for the city.

According to Lau, the Advisory Panel had submitted a report to the FHB and suggested the office approve the vaccine for emergency use.

The Hong Kong SAR government has signed a contract with mainland vaccine manufacturer Sinovac to purchase 7.5 million doses of CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine.

The Global Times learned from Sinovac on Wednesday that the first batch of 1 million doses completed will be shifted from deposits on Wednesday and is estimated to arrive in Hong Kong on Friday. Doses will be delivered directly by air from Beijing to Hong Kong.

The HKSAR government has also reached agreements with two other vaccine manufacturers, Shanghai-based Fosun Pharma, Chinese Chinese vaccine partner BioNTech and British company AstraZeneca to purchase 7.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from each.

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam told the media in December 2020 that when a vaccine is approved for urgent use in Hong Kong, she and other key officials in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region would first receive the vaccines.

Amid the still devastating COVID-19 pandemic, a number of countries including Hungary, Senegal, Morocco and Zimbabwe have received a special Spring Festival gift from China – groups of coronavirus vaccines have arrived to help locals fight the deadly disease, which experts said that it serves as a strong rebuke to the claims of the western media that China makes an empty promise to those in need.

“It’s a powerful rebuke of some Western media claims about China that gives others a ‘dream’ in what China has given its promise to make coronavirus vaccines a kind of global public good,” a Beijing-based vaccine expert told the Global Times on condition of anonymity on Wednesday.

Amid rising global confidence in China’s vaccines, Chen Shih-chung, head of the anti-epidemic authority on the island of Taiwan and a politician from the pro-secessionist Progressive Democratic Party, told the media that people on the island could recommend vaccines. continent to the anti-epidemic authority if they are interested.

It is reported that this is the first time Chen has issued such a signal as he has previously told the media on several occasions that the island would not buy vaccines for the continent.

Chen’s recent comments on territorial vaccines to some extent indicate that the island authorities have begun to view the continent’s vaccines from a scientific and reasonable perspective rather than politicize them, experts said.

The island previously backed their hopes in the U.S. to get vaccines, but the U.S. is quite preoccupied with their anti-epidemic battle, leaving the island of Taiwan an “orphan” in the vaccine race, Wang Jianmin, a Taiwan affairs expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Wang said continental vaccines would be a better choice for the island, but Taiwanese authorities need to show more sincerity in improving relations between the straits and facilitate co-operation on vaccines as they still have a discriminatory attitude towards continental vaccines. .

A promise given

Hungary sent a rental flight that arrived in Beijing and received on Tuesday its first batch of Sinopharm vaccine developed by China. The shipment arrived in the country’s capital Budapest on the same day, making Hungary the first member of the European Union to buy vaccines made in China.

Tamas Menczer, state secretary at the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said in an interview with CCTV News that saving lives is a top priority for the country and China’s vaccine has played a key role in this regard, CCTV News reported on Tuesday.

Senegal has also ordered the first shipment of the vaccine from China, which is also the first among sub-Saharan African countries. A rental flight carrying the packages set out on its journey Wednesday morning and is scheduled to arrive on Thursday.

Morocco received the second batch of coronavirus vaccines from China on Tuesday. The batch will be distributed to injection sites after the local drug administration confirms its quantity and quality, CCTV News reported on Wednesday. Morocco welcomed its first shipment of vaccines from China on January 27, and launched its nationwide inoculation plan the next day.

About 200,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines donated by China arrived in the Zimbabwean capital Harare early Monday morning, becoming the first batch of vaccines the country has received as it stepped up efforts to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The local government said the doses could meet the vaccination needs of 100,000 people, which would be distributed with priority to front-line workers. Zimbabwe has also purchased another 600,000 doses from China scheduled to arrive in early March.

Several other countries, including Pakistan and Equatorial Guinea, also gave the green light for more coronavirus vaccines developed in China, the Global Times has learned.

Chinese experts also tried to allay concerns about China’s production capacity as demand continues to grow.

China has previously confirmed an annual production capacity of 1 billion doses, but the current number could exceed or even double it, the expert said.

“Since the epidemic has been successfully contained in China, so far there is no need to promote inoculations across the country,” he explained. “So vaccines have been exported to countries that need more to curb the disease.”

Feng Duojia, president of the China Vaccine Industry Association, previously told the Global Times that he estimated that China’s total COVID-19 vaccine production capacity would eventually reach 4 billion a year, covering 40 percent of demand global, based on world population calculations and average vaccination rates.

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