Por Chen Guoyou *
On April 7, the first batch of 300,000 doses of Chinese Sinovac vaccines purchased by the Ecuadorian Government arrive in the country, which will constitute the largest quantity of COVID-19 vaccines that this country will receive with a single batch, reflecting the strong support and friendship of the Chinese Government and people with Ecuadorians. After 3 days, another 700,000 doses of Sinovac will arrive in the Andean country and it is expected that 1 million additional doses of the same brand will arrive later.
Currently, the pandemic continues to hit the world and the fight against COVID-19 is still severe. The vaccine is a powerful weapon to defeat the virus. Faced with the unbalanced supply and demand of the vaccine market and the nationalism applied by a few countries, China fulfills its solemn commitment to turn COVID-19 vaccines into a global public good with actions and promotes their international equitable distribution; thus contributing to the accessibility and affordability of vaccines for developing countries. China joined the Covax initiative and has so far provided 10 million doses of vaccines, in addition to donating 300 thousand doses of vaccines to the peacekeepers (United Nations Peace Forces) in response to the UN appeal. and it will offer vaccines to athletes who will attend the Tokyo Olympics and the Beijing Winter Olympics. As of the end of March, China has donated vaccines to 80 countries and exported them to 47 countries, most of which are developing countries.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, cooperation and mutual support between China and Ecuador have written a new chapter in the Binational Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. China was the first country to respond to the Ecuadorian request for urgent aid and is its second largest donor country in the anti-epidemic fight. In addition, the leaders of both countries have maintained close communications in the cloud, and virtual conferences have been organized to exchange experiences for epidemic prevention and control. Sino-Ecuadorian anti-epidemic cooperation has steadily deepened. Recently, the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac and the Ecuadorian government signed the contract for the purchase of 2 million doses; Additionally, another Chinese company, AnhuiZhifei, is conducting the phase III clinical trial in cooperation with the Ecuadorian laboratory Biodimed. On the other hand, China provided support for the resolution “Ensuring equitable, affordable, timely and universal access to vaccines for all countries to face the COVID-19 pandemic,” proposed by Ecuador at the 46th session of the Human Rights Council. Thus, important advances in vaccine cooperation mark a 2.0 phase in Sino-Ecuadorian anti-epidemic cooperation.
China is scheduled to start the largest herd immunization, inoculating more than 500 million people in the country before the end of June. Despite this scenario, China guaranteed the priority of the arrival of the vaccines to Ecuador, overcoming the difficulties of the enormous domestic demand and the scarce supply of the doses. We are convinced that these safe and reliable vaccines will play a positive role in building the defense line against COVID-19 in Ecuador, helping the Ecuadorian people to defeat the virus as soon as possible and is a sign of the continued consolidation of the friendly bilateral Comprehensive Strategic Association. (OR)
* Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Ecuador.