China has signed an agreement officially joining the COVAX initiative led by the World Health Organization, which aims to provide worldwide access to effective Covid-19 vaccines.
“This is 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,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Friday.
“We are taking this concrete step to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to developing countries, and hope more capable countries will also join and support COVAX. China will also strengthen vaccine cooperation with relevant countries through the COVAX network,” she added.
Through the COVAX Facility coordinated by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, more than 75 ‘high-income’ countries have committed funding to provide at least part of the cost for procuring the vaccine for poorer nations.
The United States -- which has severed its relationship with the WHO -- and Russia have not joined the program. Australia, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom and 27 countries represented by the European Commission are members.