China is participating in a World Health Organization-backed vaccine effort, stepping in to fill a void in global health leadership created by the Trump administration.
Beijing on Thursday joined the US$18 billion ($24.45 billion) Covax initiative that aspires to give lower-income countries the same access to vaccines as wealthier nations, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. Details of China’s commitment, including its amount of funding, weren’t immediately disclosed.
“Even when China is leading the world with several vaccines in advanced stages of R&D and with ample production capacity, it still decided to join Covax,” spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement Friday. “We are taking this concrete step to ensure equitable distribution of vaccines, especially to developing countries, and hope more capable countries will also join and support Covax.”