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The appearance of Omicron has once again evidenced inequalities. While 67 percent of the EU population has received all doses, only 7.1 percent of Africans has received more than one dose so far.
To help the African Union (AU) achieve its goal of vaccinating 60 percent of the African population by 2022, President Xi on Monday announced that China would provide another one billion doses of vaccines to Africa, including 600 million doses as donation and 400 million doses to be provided through such means as joint production by Chinese companies and relevant African countries.
"China will also undertake 10 medical and health projects for African countries, and send 1,500 medical personnel and public health experts to Africa," Xi pointed out.
Currently, Chinese firms are engaging in joint vaccine production in Africa with local firms, helping countries, in accordance with their wishes, to realize localized vaccine production. To date they have started localized production in Egypt, and signed cooperative agreements with Morocco and Algeria.
"China now ranks as the top supplier of COVID-19 vaccines to Africa and a strong advocate for intellectual property liberalization to allow African countries to manufacture commodities and further save their population and economies from the impacts of the global health crisis," said Cavince Adhere, a Kenya-based international relations scholar.
China and Africa have joined forces in confronting the grave challenge posed by COVID-19, further reinforcing their friendship, and the solidarity between the Chinese and African peoples has enabled them to overcome difficulties and obstacles and build a bright future, said Xu Bu, president of the China Institute of International Studies.
The appearance of the Omicron variant has once again evidenced inequality in access to COVID-19 vaccines. While 67 percent of the European Union population has received all doses, only 7.1 percent of Africans has received more than one dose so far.
By Nov. 12, however, China had provided over 1.7 billion COVID-19 vaccines to over 110 countries and organizations, including 50 African nations and the AU Commission.