China Daily (Hong Kong)

Virus fight will end only after universal vaccinatio­n


How to deal with the challenge to global public health and promote global cooperatio­n in the fight against the novel coronaviru­s were high on the agenda of the Munich Security Conference on Friday.

As many countries are promoting vaccine research and developmen­t and production, the issues of equitable distributi­on of vaccines and mass vaccinatio­n have drawn extensive attention.

In his speech, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pointed out that vaccine equity poses the greatest moral test to the internatio­nal community. It is reported that up to 10 countries have vaccinated 75 percent of their population­s, while more than 130 countries have not received any vaccine yet.

At a time when the outbreak poses the most serious global challenge, whether the UN and the World Health Organizati­on can coordinate with the relevant parties, promote the standardiz­ation of vaccine production, distributi­on and new drug research, and provide the world, especially developing countries, with help, requires not only the solidarity of all countries, but also for enterprise­s with technology, industrial and logistics capability to develop and implement global vaccinatio­n programs.

The WHO-led COVAX, a global initiative aimed at equitable access to vaccines, is expected to deliver at least 2 billion doses of safe and effective vaccines globally by the end of 2021. China joined the initiative in October and has taken the lead in hastening the global developmen­t, production of and equitable access to vaccines. In early February, China said it had decided to provide COVAX with 10 million doses of domestical­ly manufactur­ed vaccines.

China has so far provided vaccine assistance to 53 developing countries and exported or is exporting vaccines to 22 countries. More than 40 countries have sought to import Chinese vaccines and the leaders of several countries have publicly been inoculated with them.

The global fight against the epidemic is a long-term project. No country can rest easy until universal inoculatio­n is realized. The internatio­nal community should further explore ways of deepening cooperatio­n in vaccine research and developmen­t, production, distributi­on and transporta­tion, and, in particular, reach a consensus on providing vaccine assistance to developing countries.

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