China Becomes Largest Economy To Join WHO-Backed Global COVID-19 Vaccine Initiative
The COVID-19 vaccine initiative known as COVAX received a boost on Friday (Beijing time) when the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced that the country had officially joined the facility, Reuters reported.
What Happened: China pledges support for the vaccine initiative, which focuses on low and middle income countries.
The ministry did not comment on the scope of its commitment, but President Xi Jinping pledged $ 2 billion in May to help mitigate the effects of the global coronavirus pandemic over the next two years.
According to Reuters, a Chinese government spokeswoman hoped "more capable countries will join and support COVAX".
Why It Matters: World Health Organization-led COVAX aims to deliver nearly two billion doses of vaccine by the end of 2021, according to Reuters.
According to reports, the WHO has negotiated with China, the world's second largest economy after the US, while Russia and the US have not yet joined.
China is set to expand its domestic vaccination program and, according to the Financial Times, thousands of people have already been given the Sinopharm Group's (OTC: SHTDY) vaccines. Health experts claim that offering vaccinations to the public in China is "bizarre" and very risky at this point in time.
The COVID-19 pandemic has killed over 1 million people, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
Photo by Paul Kagame on Flickr
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