China announced on Friday that it had joined the international mechanism for the provision of COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries, an initiative launched by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Asian giant, where the new coronavirus first appeared at the end of last year, is at the forefront of vaccine research, with 11 projects in clinical trials, out of around 60 underway worldwide .
President Xi Jinping promised in May that any vaccine produced in his country would be “a global public good.”
In the meantime, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced in a statement that the country had joined the UN system of global access to the vaccine against COVID-19, dubbed Covax (COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access; global access to the vaccine against COVID-19).
This initiative, which aims to guarantee access to vaccines to 92 poor countries, was entrusted by the WHO to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance founded in 2000.
Beijing did not say how much it plans to contribute to the Covax fund, which expects initial contributions of $ 2 billion by the end of the year.
On its website, Gavi said Thursday it had received a pledge of $ 130 million from Japan, bringing the total to 1.8 billion from around 20 countries.
Neither the United States nor France is on the list.
Beijing has been criticized for its initial response to the outbreak. The Communist regime has, however, managed in recent months to virtually eradicate the virus, with an official death toll that stopped in May at 4,634 dead, while the pandemic has killed more than a million people across the globe.