China has reportedly announced its plans to supply COVID-19 vaccines to almost 40 African nations. The country has described its action as ‘purely altruistic’, claim reports.
Wu Peng, a Chinese Foreign Ministry official, stated that the vaccines have either been donated or sold at favorable prices.
In a possible dig at the United States, Wu apparently compared China’s altruistic outreach with the actions of countries that have said that they needed to ‘wait till their citizens have finished vaccination’ before they could supply aid to foreign countries.
A presidential statement that has been approved by all members at a council meeting pertaining to African issues seemingly underlined the necessity for ‘equitable access’ to quality and economical COVID-19 tests, vaccines, and treatment.
Wu, director of the Africa department in China’s foreign ministry, added that they believed it was necessary to ascertain that Chinese citizens receive vaccination as soon as possible, however, for other nations in need, they have tried to offer vaccine assistance.
While some have blamed the U.S. of hoarding vaccines, earlier this week, President Biden reportedly pledged an additional 20 million vaccine doses supply in the following six weeks. This latest announcement by the U.S. has evidently brought its total vaccine commitment to 80 million doses.
Reports suggest, these doses have been planned to be sourced from existing U.S. stock of vaccines manufactured by Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, or Moderna. Evidently, the Biden administration had previously committed to supply about 60 million doses of the AztraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine before July.
On 19th May, in a press release, the U.N. Security Council emphasized the accelerated availability of the vaccines in Africa. The Council also reportedly expressed concerns over Africa having received only around 2% of all vaccines administered across the globe.
Notably, Egypt has been scheduled to start manufacturing the Chinese Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine in June 2021, as per reports.