China's joining of COVAX is an important measure to uphold the concept of a shared community of health for all and fulfill its commitment on turning COVID-19 vaccines into a global public good, a foreign ministry spokesperson said on October 21.
"China is the largest economy supporting COVAX," Zhao Lijian said at a daily press briefing, expressing the hope that China's joining will motivate enterprises to increase their production capacity, ensure the output of vaccines, and promote the accessibility and affordability of vaccines in developing countries.
A total of 184 countries and economies have now joined COVAX, an international initiative aimed at ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines across the world, according to the World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. China signed an agreement with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, officially joining COVAX on October 8.
"With four vaccine candidates entering phase-3 clinical trials, China is self sufficient in vaccine production. Nevertheless, China decided to join COVAX. The purpose is to promote equitable distribution of vaccines through concrete actions, ensure the supply of vaccines in developing countries, and motivate more capable countries to join and support COVAX," Zhao said.
The Chinese Government supports domestic enterprises to be involved in vaccine research and development by joining COVAX and to jointly provide vaccines to developing countries, he added.