Largest African delegation seeks vaccine offer in visit to Chinese developer

By Hu Yuwei and Zhang Hui Source: Global Times Published: 2020/10/16 13:44:33

File photo: CFP

A delegation of 51 African diplomats and senior representatives on Thursday visited the Beijing manufacturing workshop of one of China's main COVID-19 vaccine developers to get firsthand knowledge of the latest developments of the desperately-needed vaccines, while seeking more offers from China. 

China National Biotec Group (CNBG) said that the African representatives visited the workshop and production monitoring room before attending a symposium. It was the largest foreign diplomatic delegation to have visited the workshop, it said.

The African delegation was also the largest diplomatic delegation to visit a Chinese pharmaceutical factory and vaccine production line so far, Xu Xin, a director of Beijing Biological Products Institute of CNBG, told the Global Times on Friday. 

After the visit, the African representatives showed greater interest and confidence in the development of COVID-19 vaccines in China, saying they look forward to more offers on vaccines from China and expect more vaccine technical support and material assistance from China, Xu said.

Sinopharm has received orders from more than 100 countries so far, many of which are from Africa, and the company is still discussing future cooperation, Xu said.

On the national level, China has pledged to make its vaccines a global public good. The country has also joined the global initiative for vaccine access COVAX and will provide vaccines to developing countries as a priority, including African countries. 

China will fulfill its responsibilities for global public health, and is also ready to deepen China-Africa cooperation on combating COVID-19. A vaccine is the most effective weapon in the battle against the virus, Wu Peng, director-general of the Department of African Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at the symposium. 

Wu said that China is advancing vaccine research and development in strict accordance with international norms, and is ready to strengthen vaccine cooperation with Africa on the basis of full respect of the will of Africa.

Also on Thursday, medical journal the Lancet published a study on a CNBG's COVID-19 vaccine, BBIBP-CorV, saying it was safe, tolerable and immunogenic in healthy people in  phase I and II clinical trials. 

China has approved three vaccines for urgent use, and two of them were developed by CNBG. 

The Chinese COVID-19 vaccine developer announced in September that more than 100,000 vaccinations have been given, and none of the people who received the two inactivated vaccines it developed have shown any obvious adverse reactions, with none having contracted COVID-19. 


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