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China to purchase COVAX vaccines for 1% of population, says foreign ministry

China to purchase COVAX vaccines for 1% of population, says foreign ministry

A worker feeds vials for production of SARS CoV-2 Vaccine for COVID-19 at the Sinovac vaccine factory in Beijing. (Photo: AP/Ng Han Guan,)

BEIJING: China will purchase COVID-19 vaccines for 1 per cent of its population, or 15 million people, via a global scheme backed by the World Health Organization, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday (Oct 9).

Beijing's move to join the COVAX programme means China "will be procuring vaccines through the facility for a proportion of their own population, just as with other countries", a spokesman for GAVI, which co-leads the scheme, said earlier.

READ: China joins WHO's global COVID-19 vaccine facility COVAX

The first batch of vaccine available under the plan will be in short supply, so there would be less for other countries if China had secured doses for a large number of its 1.4 billion people, ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a news briefing.

China has at least four experimental vaccines in final stages of clinical trials, and is also in talks with the WHO to have its domestically made vaccines assessed for international use.

Self-financing countries in COVAX scheme can request vaccine doses sufficient for 10-50per cent of their populations, GAVI said on its website.

Funded countries will receive enough doses to vaccinate up to 20 per cent of their population in the longer term, GAVI said.

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Source: Reuters/aa

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