China’s COVID-19 vaccine makers seek to team up for COVAX scheme
BEIJING (CHINA) – China said on Wednesday three drugmakers had submitted applications for the supply of their COVID-19 vaccines to global vaccine-sharing scheme COVAX. This is the country’s first official move to provide locally developed shots to the initiative.
China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a news conference on Wednesday that Sinovac Biotech, China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and CanSino Biologics have applied to join the scheme.
The COVAX scheme, led by the World Health Organization and GAVI vaccine alliance, is likely to set out on the roll out of vaccines to poor and middle-income countries in February. Two of 3 billion doses are expected to be delivered this year.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that vaccine nationalism had put the world on the brink of “catastrophic moral failure,” and urged countries and manufacturers to spread doses more fairly around the world.
Vaccines from Sinopharm and Sinovac are already being handed over in several countries, including Brazil, Indonesia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
Sinovac, Sinopharm and CanSino did not have any immediate comments on when the COVAX approval would be for their vaccines, supply amounts and what data they have given to COVAX.
COVAX was not immediately available for comment.