China pushes shared vaccine research with global partners

By Hu Yuwei Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/3 17:58:40

Vaccine Photo: Xinhua

The World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations agencies, health charities and the international vaccine industry, have proclaimed efforts in ensuring a more equal and scientific accessibility to COVID19 vaccines. The Vaccine Alliance, made up of leading medicine developers in developed countries, has succeeded in gaining support and pledges by governments, including China's. 

While the EU and the US governments have also placed huge orders in advance despite the COVID-19 vaccine trials being not yet concluded, experts noted China has been actively participating in multilateral platforms to promote a fair and equal allocation mechanism.

The Developing Country Vaccine Manufacturers Network (DCVMN), another voluntary transnational business alliance composed of state-owned and private non-subsidiary companies committed to increasing the number of products made by developing country vaccine producers, also involves China's efforts.

DCVMN members are playing an increasingly important role in public health supplying more than 50 percent of the doses of vaccines procured by UNICEF globally. Top vaccine developers and research teams including the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, CNBG Sinopharm and Sinovac Biotech Ltd, whose vaccines have all entered phase three trials, are all members of DCVMN.

"Given China's active leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside extensive ongoing vaccine research efforts, we believe there is much room for both Chinese public and private actors to participate in both the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) and the COVAX Advance Market Commitment initiatives, which will go a long way toward ensuring that the COVID-19 vaccine, when ready, will be available equitably to all," the spokesperson of the GAVI said in an exclusive response to the Global Times.

GAVI, a public-private global health partnership linked with the WHO and tasked with increasing poor countries' access to immunization, encourages potential vaccine developers including those in China to submit promising candidates for consideration for COVAX research and development, and manufacturing funding, the spokesperson said. 

"A number have already done so via CEPI's Call for Proposals and the COVAX Facility. There are nine vaccines in clinical trials in China and CEPI has two candidates with partners based in China in its portfolio."

The COVAX Facility said it is supporting the building of manufacturing capabilities, and buying supplies in advance so 2 billion doses can be equitably distributed by the end of 2021.  It is doing so by pooling buying power from participating economies and providing volume guarantees across a range of promising vaccine candidates.

China has been making full use of existing multilateral platforms in the field of vaccines, and relevant Chinese institutions have experience in participating in these cooperative mechanisms at multiple levels over the past decades, Zha Daojiong, a professor of international political economy in the School of International Studies and Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development, Peking University, said in a recent opinion piece. Participating in multilateral platforms is also valuable to the experience sharing and risk warning among all suppliers, Zha said.

Posted in: IN-DEPTH

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