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Remember When China Said It’s Going to Give Africa Access to Its C19 Vaccine? Well, There’s a Catch…

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday amended its promise to provide a future COVID-19 vaccine to developing countries with the introduction of the phrase “at a fair and reasonable price.”

Prior to this, there had been no mention of any cost. In fact, in his May 18th speech to the World Health Assembly, Chinese President Xi Jinping said a Chinese vaccine would be distributed to low-income countries as a “global public good,” implying that it would be freely available to those who need it.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not provide any further details on the pricing scheme for the vaccine and if some countries would be exempt.

China’s C19 Vaccine FAQs From the South China Morning Post:

  • WHEN WILL A CHINESE VACCINE BE READY? Uncertainties remain, but Chinese officials are optimistic that the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines will be ready for the general public as early as November or December.
  • HOW MANY DOSES WILL CHINA BE ABLE TO MANUFACTURE BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR? According to the National Health Commission (NHC), the country’s annual capacity for production of Covid-19 vaccines will reach 610 million doses by the end of this year, and is expected to increase to 1 billion doses next year. China’s population is estimated at about 1.4 billion.
  • WHICH COUNTRIES ARE LIKELY TO BE FIRST TO GET THE VACCINE?  Countries where Chinese vaccine developers are running clinical trials – including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Peru, Morocco, Turkey, Bangladesh, Brazil, and Indonesia – could be among the first recipients.
  • WILL A CHINESE VACCINE BE SAFE?  Although health experts are pressing for transparency as countries race to develop vaccines under political pressure, little has been revealed to the public about the research methodology and trial protocols of the Chinese companies.


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