A model of a coronavirus is displayed next to boxes for COVID-19 vaccines at an exhibit by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinopharm at the China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing.
Hua Chunying, spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, explained that the country signed a few hours ago an agreement with the Global Alliance for Vaccination (GAVI) on joining the project.
A WHO-led initiative to make coronavirus vaccine accessible to all received a boost on Friday with China announcing its intention to join the initiative. The Trump administration in the U.S. had declined to join the alliance. COVAX global vaccine facility aims to distribute 2 billion doses by the end of 2021.
China joining the network will be huge boost to the initiative as the United States had earlier said it would not participate in the scheme.
Around a dozen vaccine candidates, including at least five partly or wholly developed by Chinese organizations, are now undergoing phase 3 clinical trials, which test their safety and efficacy on thousands of people before they are submitted for approval.
"From the outset, AstraZeneca's approach has been to treat the development of the vaccine as a response to a global public health emergency, not a commercial opportunity", the company said in a statement, per the FT.
More than 170 global economies - including Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and 27 European Union member states - are now engaged in the programme. Earlier, as the pandemic spread around the world, it sent medical teams and supplies to affected countries.
The UN, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and vaccine alliance Gavi launched Covax as a collaborative effort in June.
This guidance ensures that no COVID-19 vaccine is likely to be approved before the U.S. presidential election, which is taking place on 3 November.
According to Azar, this will be enough to help vulnerable populations.
This is why it has raised nearly €16 billion since 4 May 2020 under the Coronavirus Global Response, the global action for universal access to tests, treatments and vaccines against coronavirus and for the global recovery and has confirmed its interest to participate in the COVAX Facility for equitable access to affordable COVID-19 vaccines everywhere. Once the authorities give the nod, the second Russian vaccine would be put to Phase 3 of clinical trials.
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