Chinese vaccines boost global anti-pandemic fight
Workers unload a container of China's Sinopharm inactivated coronavirus vaccines at the Belgrade Airport, Serbia, Jan. 16, 2021. [Photo by Predrag Milosavljevic/Xinhua]
When Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić was addressing the media on Serbias COVID-19 situation on July 8, 2021, he explained the reason why he asked China for help when his country was facing a crisis brought by the epidemic at the beginning of 2020 -- If it werent for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbáns advice to "turn to China for help", he would have kept being "afraid of the end of the summer because of the situation".
By June 23 this year, Serbia had received 4 million doses of Chinese vaccines. Other kinds of help offered in addition to vaccines, according to the Serbian government, also included 58 planes that brought China-donated equipment, advice from the best Chinese experts and doctors, who helped Serbia combat COVID-19 and technical equipment for Serbian hospitals, doctors, and nurses, based on the latest statistics by June 1, 2021.
Serbia is not the only country that has received COVID-19 vaccine support from China. The Chinese Ambassador to Papua New Guinea (PNG) said China had donated and sold a total of 1.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to PNG by July 11, 2021 according to official figures. On the same day, Sri Lanka also received 2 million Chinese Sinopharm vaccines, bringing the total number of Chinese vaccines in Sri Lanka to 7.1 million.
As of July 9, 2021, China has provided more than 100 countries and international organizations with 500 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and concentrates across all five continents, making it the country that has provided the most vaccines globally. According to Chinas Ministry of Foreign Affairs, more than 100 countries have approved the use of Chinese vaccines, whose safety and effectiveness have been widely recognized.
"I chose Sinopharm because of its strength and minimal side effects. It was also the only one of the two vaccines available at the start of the vaccination campaign," Meke Inotila Fanuel from Namibia was quoted as saying on Xinhua, after he was inoculated with the China-donated Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said earlier this year at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021 that China will honor its commitment of making vaccines a "global public good". In fact, the first-ever batch of COVID-19 vaccines that many developing countries have received are China-made. Despite limited production capacity and enormous demand at home, China has kept its word by providing other countries with anti-epidemic support, including self-produced vaccines, PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment), surgical masks, gloves and so on. To underdeveloped or developing countries that do not yet have enough capacity to control the pandemic nationwide on their own, China's vaccines are nothing less than a silver lining that has arrived just in time.
"China has offered vaccines to different countries," Serbian Foreign Minister Nikola Selakovic said in an interview with Xinhua, "The countries that accepted the offer have shown all the others that it is not an issue of geopolitics, but humanity."