Boost for global pandemic control

CHINA has officially joined the COVID-19 vaccine alliance known as COVAX with the signing of an agreement with GAVI, the co-leader of the global initiative aimed at speeding up the development, manufacture and equitable distribution of new vaccines. In the words of Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, joining COVAX is an important step Beijing has taken to uphold its concept of “a shared community of health for all” and to honor its commitment of making any vaccines it develops a global public good.
As one of the earliest countries to start researching and developing COVID-19 diagnostics, treatments and vaccines, China has a number of promising vaccine candidates reportedly in the pipeline. Once a vaccine proves viable, Beijing has promised it will be made widely available, with priority given to the most vulnerable countries and communities. COVAX, for its part, can greatly amplify that potential Chinese contribution thanks to its role as a risk-sharing mechanism for the pooled procurement and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. As COVAX is coordinated by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organization, it will be more efficient in accomplishing the initial goal of ending the acute phase of the pandemic.
Committing to the COVAX framework also conforms to Beijing’s pledges to support the WHO and uphold the mechanisms of multilateral global governance. Joining COVAX will also offer a dependable guarantee for China’s own defense against the pandemic. The just concluded eight-day National Day-Mid-Autumn Festival holiday proved that having basically gained an upper hand over the virus, not only is everyday life recovering in China, but the economy too is quickly gaining momentum. Yet, just as obvious is the fact that this wouldn’t have been possible if the country had not dramatically scaled down and strictly controlled its contacts with the rest of the world. The constant reports of “imported cases” keep reminding us of the simple truth that in the face of a pandemic, no one is safe until everyone is. Helping others therefore is helping oneself. Joining and doing its part within COVAX means an additional guarantee for the country’s own safety. After all, as long as there are countries, regions and groups suffering, no country, including China, can feel safe. That is why COVAX should not only strive to ensure equitable access to the more than 170 countries and entities that have joined it, but also make sure no country or region or group of people in the world will be left unattended in this critical battle of collective defense.
– China Daily