In this March 16, 2020 file photo, a staff member displays samples of the COVID-19 inactivated vaccine at Sinovac Biotech Ltd, in Beijing. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
China has signed up to the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility, or COVAX, as an important step to build a shared community of health for all and honor its commitment to turn COVID-19 vaccines into a global public good, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Friday.
"Even when China is leading the world with several vaccines in advanced stages of R&D and with ample production capacity, it still decided to join COVAX," Hua said in an online statement published on the website of the ministry.
"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," she said, adding China will also strengthen vaccine cooperation with relevant countries through the COVAX network.
The initiative, led by the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organization, aims to fast track the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines in response to the pandemic, and guarantee fair and equitable access for every country and region in the world. It aims to have 2 billion doses available by the end of 2021.
All participating economies, regardless of income levels, will have equal access to a portfolio of vaccines once they are available. Participating economies are required to commit to legally binding agreements and make their upfront payments to the facility by Friday.
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