China‘s move was taken after holding talks with WHO so that the locally produced Covid-19 vaccine was assessed for international use.
However, President Xi Jinping in May 2020 promised $ 2 billion in aid over the next two years to help deal with the pandemic corona virus.
“We are taking these concrete steps to ensure fair distribution of the vaccine, especially to developing countries,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hua Chunying in a statement quoted from Reuters, Friday (9/10/2020).
“We hope that better-off countries will also join and support COVAX,” he continued.
The COVAX initiative aims to deliver at least 2 billion doses vaccine by the end of 2021.
China joins the 168 countries that have announced their participation in COVAX, including 76 self-sufficient wealthy nations.
COVAX is co-chaired by the GAVI vaccine alliance, WHO, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).
This program is designed to prevent the nationalism of the Covid-19 vaccine and focuses on first vaccinating the most high-risk people in each country.
At least four vaccines from China are now in the final stages of clinical trials.
Two were developed by the state-backed China National Biotec Group (CNBG), while the remaining two were from Sinovac Biotech and CanSino Biologics respectively.
In the past, history has recorded bad experiences with vaccine nationalism.
During the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, the US and many European countries donated 10 percent of their vaccine stocks to poorer countries.
However, these donations are made after they are sufficient for the population of their citizens.
As H1N1 turns out to be a milder disease and the pandemic is finally abating, the impact on infections and deaths from vaccine imbalance is limited.
However, Covid-19 is a much bigger threat. Leaving most of the world‘s people vulnerable will not only harm them, but also prolong the pandemic and the damage it causes.