China joins coronavirus vaccine alliance; signs agreement with GAVI after missing September deadline
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said the step has been taken to ensure ‘equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to developing countries’
The country signed an agreement with GAVI, the co-leader of the alliance, on Thursday, China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Initially, China did not agree to join the alliance, missing the global deadline to join in September.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement that “we are taking this concrete step to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to developing countries, and hope more capable countries will also join and support COVAX.”
It is not yet clear the exact terms of the agreement and how China will contribute. The country's leader Xi Jinping previously said that China would make the vaccine a global public good.
The alliance is designed so that richer countries agree to buy into potential vaccines and help finance access for poorer ones. The Trump administration in the US had declined to join the alliance.
If COVID-19 becomes endemic, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that global economic losses could exceed US$ 5.3 trillion by 2026.
Will poor countries get access to new antiviral medication to treat COVID or be elusive as vaccines?
The drugs work best if taken as soon as symptoms appear, and patients must be sure they have the coronavirus. But testing is scarce in many places.
Children will be given half the proportion of what adults get ie, a dose of 0.5 ml will be given to kids compared to 1ml in adults. It will be an intramuscular injection like other vaccines