World Insights: Providing 500 mln vaccine doses to world, China aims to enhance int’l cooperation against COVID-19 - International Burch University
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World Insights: Providing 500 mln vaccine doses to world, China aims to enhance int’l cooperation against COVID-19

As a steadfast advocate for equitable vaccine distribution around the globe, China has supplied 500 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and concentrates to more than 100 countries and international organizations, accounting for one-sixth of the current global output.

BEIJING, July 13 (Xinhua) — Chinese vaccines are gathering steam across the world, injecting strong impetus into the global fight against COVID-19 as deaths from the virus topped 4 million worldwide and variants spread to more than 100 countries.

As a steadfast advocate for equitable vaccine distribution around the globe, China has supplied 500 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and concentrates to more than 100 countries and international organizations, accounting for one-sixth of the current global output.

China has provided more doses to developing countries than anyone else and has vaccine cooperation partners all over the globe, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on Monday.

With the support of the Chinese government, Chinese vaccine companies have started joint production in many countries including the UAE, Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt, Brazil, Turkey, Pakistan and Mexico, with producing capacity exceeding 200 million doses.

A staff member checks tags on vials of COVID-19 vaccine at a packing line of Sinovac Life Sciences Co., Ltd. in Beijing, capital of China, Dec. 23, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Yuwei)

HIGH EFFICACY

Two Chinese pharmaceutical companies, Sinopharm and Sinovac, will provide 110 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines immediately to participants of the COVAX project, announced the global Vaccine Alliance Gavi on Monday.

The Chinese Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines were approved earlier this year by the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use.

“The Chinese government has been actively encouraging and supporting Chinese vaccine research and development companies to participate in the COVAX to provide vaccines to developing countries,” a diplomat with the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations in Geneva said on Monday.

Two doses of the Sinopharm vaccine provide 84-percent protection from death caused by COVID-19, showed a report by the Argentine Ministry of Health based on cases from the country’s 24 provinces.

In February, Argentina authorized the emergency use of the Sinopharm vaccine after Health Minister Carla Vizzotti signed a resolution, an official measure which highlighted the “safety, immunogenicity and efficacy” of the vaccine.

A medical worker prepares to put vaccines developed by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinopharm into a refrigerator in La Plata, Argentina, March 3, 2021. (Photo by Martin Zabala/Xinhua)

The South African government, political parties, labor and civil society have given thumbs up to the CoronaVac, also known as the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine, whose use in the country was approved by South African Health Products Authority (SAHPRA) on July 3.

SAHPRA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela said they approved the use of the CoronaVac vaccine based on its safety, quality and efficacy of the data presented to them. South Africa’s opposition political party Economic Freedom Fighters also welcomed the Sinovac vaccine, calling on the government to make it available to the people soon.

“The efficacy of the CoronaVac vaccine to the COVID-19 variants that are dominant in South Africa and its safety are essential. We are therefore looking forward to deepening our party to party relations with the CPC (Communist Party of China) and inter alia, scientific cooperation with China in our struggle to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and resolve underdevelopment,” said South African Communist Party General-Secretary Blade Nzimande.

Interim analysis of Phase 3 clinical trial of the CoronaVac vaccine in more than 10,000 participants, aged 18-59, in Turkey suggests the efficacy of two doses of the vaccine is 83.5 percent against symptomatic cases of COVID-19, according to a study published last week in The Lancet, a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal.

The vaccine — which has been in Phase 3 trials since mid-2020 in Brazil, Indonesia, Chile, and Turkey — can be stored and transported at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, according to The Lancet.

“This could be particularly important for global distribution, as some countries may struggle to store large amounts of vaccine at very low temperatures,” said Murat Akova, lead author of the study and a professor at Hacettepe University School of Medicine in Ankara.

The World Health Organization said Monday it believes that Chinese coronavirus vaccines Sinopharm and Sinovac, distributed internationally via COVAX sharing mechanism, were effective enough against the disease.

“At any point, if we have concerns with the efficacy of these vaccines, we would definitely make that known. So, at this point, I think we are confident,” WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan told a press briefing.

People walk on a street in London, Britain, on July 12, 2021. (Photo by Ray Tang/Xinhua)

SETTING EXAMPLE FOR INT’L COOPERATION

A total of 438,867 new COVID-19 cases were reported across the world during the past day, bringing the global tally to 187,238,474, according to data by the Johns Hopkins University.

Nonetheless, “at this stage in the pandemic, the fact that millions of health and care workers have still not been vaccinated is abhorrent,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, told a biweekly conference in Geneva on Wednesday.

Tedros reminded that “vaccine nationalism,” whereby a handful of nations have taken the lion’s share of vaccines, is “morally indefensible” and an ineffective public health strategy against a respiratory virus that is mutating quickly and becoming increasingly successful at infecting new hosts.

“Variants are currently winning the race against vaccines because of inequitable vaccine production and distribution … It didn’t have to be this way and it doesn’t have to be this way going forward,” he noted.

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last week stressed that the world needs a global vaccine plan to at least double the production of vaccines and ensure equitable distribution, using COVAX as the platform.

Under current circumstances, cooperation between China and other countries in producing COVID-19 vaccines has been increasingly welcomed by the international community, with many hailing such cooperation as setting an example for international vaccine cooperation and transfer of global expertise.

Naeema Al-Gasseer, WHO representative in Egypt, praised the cooperation between Egypt and China in producing Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines in Egypt as “a successful model for international cooperation and transfer of global expertise, which contributes to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

Egyptian Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA) and Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac signed an agreement in April to jointly manufacture Sinovac vaccines in VACSERA’s factory in the North African country.

Photo taken on May 9, 2021 shows a building of the Egyptian Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA) in Cairo, Egypt. (Xinhua/Sui Xiankai)

Egypt has recently celebrated the production of the first 1 million doses of the vaccine, seeking to meet local demand and further export them to other countries in the region.

Similarly, Malaysian firm Yong Tai Bhd, which has partnered China-based Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products (SZKT) to supply Chinese-produced COVID-19 vaccines in Malaysia, is aiming to offer its vaccines to the private sector by September or October.

The firm, which has an agreement with SZKT to supply 10 million doses per year and an additional 10 million if required, has been conducting the Phase III Clinical Trial in Malaysia and has applied to the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency for approval to use the vaccines in the country.

Yong Tai’s CEO Boo Kuang Loon is confident that the vaccine developed by SZKT will be well accepted, as it is from the same technology platform as the other two Chinese COVID-19 vaccine developers Sinopharm and Sinovac.

Elsewhere in Asia, Mongolian Foreign Minister Batmunkh Battsetseg said the two countries have maintained active cooperation despite COVID-19, setting a real example of how neighboring countries help each other and overcome difficulties together.

“We are sincerely grateful to the Chinese government and people for donating vaccines and essential medical equipment to Mongolia during this difficult time, as well as for sharing experiences in successfully combating the pandemic,” she said, adding that China’s vaccine support is very important for Mongolia. ■

Source http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2021-07/13/c_1310058639.htm

Department of International Relations and European Studies https://www.ibu.edu.ba/department-of-international-relations-and-european-studies/