China sending 10M vaccine doses to developing nations

China’s government announced Wednesday that it plans to deliver 10 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to developing nations around the world as part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) COVAX program.

The Associated Press reported that the announcement was made at a press briefing held by China’s Foreign Ministry. It wasn’t initially clear if the plan includes a monetary incentive for China or whether Beijing would donate the vaccines.

“We hope countries in the international community with the capability will swing into action, support COVAX through practical actions, support the work of the World Health Organization, assist developing countries in obtaining vaccines in a timely manner and contribute to … conquering the pandemic at an early date,” said Weng Wenbin, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson, according to the AP.

Two Chinese companies have manufactured COVID-19 vaccines that are on the market, though just one is approved for emergency use within China’s borders currently, the news service noted. The two vaccines are seen as slightly less effective in preventing infections than other Western-made variants, but have fewer storage requirements, thus allowing them to be transported easier.

Cold storage requirements for vaccines such as the one manufactured by Pfizer and BioNTech were seen as hurdles standing in the way of delivering and distributing the vaccine to remote areas, particularly in countries where infrastructure is lacking.

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