China lists Pakistan as 'priority', pledges $100m to COVAX

COVAX to ship first batch of Chinese vaccines to Pakistan

News Desk August 10, 2021

China has listed Pakistan as its priority as Beijing pledged $100 million to COVAX -- a worldwide initiative aimed at equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines -- for distributing vaccines to developing countries, said China's Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong on Tuesday.

Pakistan has so far received 5.5 million doses of the Moderna vaccine and 2.4 million doses of AstraZeneca along with over 100,000 doses of Pfizer as part of the COVAX effort.

In a tweet, envoy Nong shared that the first batch of vaccines provided to COVAX by Beijing is being shipped to Pakistan, which has been 'put' as China's priority. "Our commitment: making vaccines a global public good, and put Pakistan as our priority," the ambassador wrote on his Twitter handle.

In July this year, COVAX signed a deal with China to buy more than 100 million Chinese jabs. Seth Berkley, who heads the Gavi alliance — one of the partners behind the Covax initiative to get jabs to poorer countries — hailed the agreement with Sinovac and Sinopharm for 110 million shots.

Read Pakistan receives first batch of Pfizer vaccine under COVAX

On Thursday, President Xi Jinping said China will "strive to provide" two billion Covid-19 vaccine doses to the world this year and donate $100 million to COVAX. "For the whole of this year, China will strive to provide two billion doses of vaccine to the world," Xi said in remarks reported by state broadcaster CCTV.

The coronavirus has killed more than four million people since first emerging in China in late 2019 and attempts to halt its spread have been hampered by its ability to mutate, with the fast-spreading Delta variant now the dominant strain in many parts of the world.

Read WHO's pandemic project faces cash crunch amid vaccine, oxygen shortages

Vaccines are still seen as the best way to allow economies to reopen while keeping the public safe, but many poorer nations are still lagging far behind their richer counterparts — tens of millions in Asian cities are now once again living in lockdown.


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