China hopes to increase the production of its COVID-19 vaccines to 2 billion doses this year and 4 billion in 2022, an ambitious plan with which Beijing aspires to become the major distributor of the drug in developing countries.
As the chairman of the China Vaccine Industry Association, Feng Duojia, recently told the local press, these 4,000 million doses will cover up to 40% of global demand.
Meanwhile, China has already distributed doses of its vaccines to 22 developing countries and provided assistance to 53, a number that will continue to rise as Beijing reaches more agreements with African nations, according to data from the Foreign Ministry.
Single la firma china Sinopharm has already distributed 43 million doses of its vaccine, of which 34 million have been administered in the Asian country, whose vaccination campaign is reduced, for the moment, to inoculating groups considered to be at high risk of being infected with COVID-19 , according to the state network CCTV.
Looking abroad, vaccines developed by Sinopharm and the Chinese Sinovac and CanSino are being used in Africa, Southeast Asia (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Myanmar) and Latin America, while in Europe they have only reached Serbia – an ally of Beijing – and Hungary.
China seduces Latin America
The enormous Chinese production capacity and its speed when it comes to distributing vaccines have seduced Latin America, where more than a dozen countries have already received or are awaiting their first doses.
192,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine will arrive in Uruguay this Thursday, to which we must add another million and a half that will be available from March 15, the president of the South American country, Luis Lacalle Pou, reported on Monday.
While, 200,000 vaccines are already available in Mexico of that firm, which will be applied in their entirety in the municipality of Ecatepec.
In the same line, Chile expects the arrival of two new shipments this week from the same laboratory, with more than two million doses each, as well as the Dominican Republic, which will receive 768,000 doses.
Countries like Brazil or Peru also administer Chinese vaccines, while others like Colombia have just received a second batch -192,000 doses of Sinovac- and Bolivia awaits the arrival of half a million Sinopharm, a drug that has also just been authorized in Argentina. One million doses will arrive in the southern country this week.
In both cases they are “inactivated” vaccines, which means that they carry a genetically altered version of the virus that prevents it from reproducing and developing the disease, but which generates an immune response in the body. (With information from EFE)
Chinese vaccines have caused clashes in the diplomatic arena after some European leaders criticized China on account of this campaign. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said last week that China has launched “vaccine diplomacy” to increase its influence, especially in African countries, and warned that “taking pictures of vaccines in airports does not mean having a vaccination policy. “
And the president of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, pointed out that the pandemic has become a “geopolitical moment” where some countries – referring to Russia and China – are distributing doses to other countries with political objectives, something that could have ” huge consequences for our future. “
China, for its part, has limited itself to criticizing developed countries for “stockpiling large quantities of vaccines”, in the words of its Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, who also rejected that Beijing has “geopolitical objectives” in mind.
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