International Asia China joins deal to get Covid-19 vaccine to poorer nations

China joins deal to get Covid-19 vaccine to poorer nations

The COVAX pledge to get vaccines to poorer nations as soon as they are developed aims to head off fears rich countries will limit distribution of game-changing medicines made by their pharmaceutical companies.

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

China has signed up to a deal to ensure future Covid-19 vaccines are distributed to developing countries, the biggest economy yet to join the World Health Organization-led bid to control the pandemic.

The COVAX pledge to get vaccines to poorer nations as soon as they are developed aims to head off fears rich countries will limit distribution of game-changing medicines made by their pharmaceutical companies.

The deal gives China, the country where the virus first emerged, a prominent role in the global effort to share vaccines with less-developed countries.

China joined COVAX to “honour its commitment to turn Covid-19 vaccines into a global public good,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Friday of the October 8 agreement.

- Advertisement -

She gave no details on how much money China would commit to the deal, which has a fundraising goal of $2 billion and aims to provide 92 low and middle-income countries with a future vaccine.

Chinese vaccines “will be provided to developing countries as a priority”, Hua said, adding Beijing hopes “more capable countries will also join and support COVAX”.

Superpower rival the US has not signed up to the deal.

China is racing to find a vaccine, with Beijing making bold predictions on its rollout before the end of the year.

Hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers, emergency staff and overseas workers have already been injected with vaccines — although the leading contenders are yet to complete clinical trials.

Beijing is facing a storm of foreign criticism over its early handling of the pandemic and has been trying to reframe perceptions of its role in Covid-19, which emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

China has paraded its success in controlling the pandemic inside its borders.

Tens of millions of people returned to work on Friday after a long “Golden Week” domestic holiday seen as a test of consumer confidence, cutting a stark contrast to many Western nations afflicted by rolling lockdowns and travel restrictions.

burs-apj/jah

© Agence France-Presse

/AFP

- Advertisement -

Alamak! IKEA misprints reusable bags, sells them as limited edition

Singapore -- A typo in IKEA Singapore's KLAMBY reusable shopping bag resulted in a discount on its price. The store has admitted to the mistake with an "alamak" and has since tagged the shopping bag as a "limited edition" item that...

Bi-national couple charged with breaching SHN at Ritz-Carlton

Singapore—A British-Singaporean couple are facing charges for offences pertaining to Stay-Home Notice (SHN) requirements, having flouted an SHN at the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore Hotel last September. The couple, British national Nigel Skea, 52, and his fiancée, Singaporean Agatha Maghesh Eyamalai, 39, were...

29-year-old inmate gets straight As for O levels, tops her cohort

Singapore — A 29-year-old inmate has topped her inmate cohort in the results for last year's GCE O-level examinations, according to the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) on Wednesday (Jan 13). Her story was released on Captains of Lives, the Facebook page...