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Envoy urges fair vaccine distribution
December 23,2021   By:China Daily
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The Chinese ambassador to the United States Qin Gang attends an online meeting hosted by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the pandemic On Dec 21, 2021. (Photo/china-embassy.org)
 
Dec. 23, 2021 -- Ensuring ample supplies of COVID-19 vaccines and distributing them fairly is a "pressing" task as the Omicron variant spreads rapidly, said the Chinese ambassador to the United States on Tuesday.
 
During an online meeting hosted by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the pandemic, Qin Gang said China is the leading supplier of COVID-19 vaccines to other countries.
 
"As the Omicron variant is rapidly spreading around the globe, we are facing a very severe situation," Qin said. "Therefore, it is pressing to ensure ample supply and fair distribution of vaccines."
 
China has been working hard to make COVID-19 vaccines a global public good.
 
Qin said China is helping to meet the World Health Organization's vaccination targets. China has provided nearly 2 billion vaccine doses to more than 120 countries and international organizations, making China the largest vaccine exporter in the world.
 
Most of the vaccines obtained by developing countries are from China.
 
In a recent announcement by President Xi Jinping, China will donate an additional 100 million vaccine doses to fellow developing countries, on top of the $100 million donation to WHO-led initiative COVAX.
 
Xi said solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapons in defeating the deadly virus.
 
China will also provide another 1 billion vaccine doses to Africa. Of the 5.6 billion COVID-19 vaccine shots administered outside China, Qin said one-third of them were provided by China.
 
Qin also said the international community must fight the pandemic together. "We must oppose disinformation and vaccine discrimination, and raise the vaccination rate. Major countries must shoulder their responsibilities, take the lead to provide vaccines for low- and middle-income countries, and help them foster production capacity," he said.
 
China will continue to work with the international community to advance international cooperation on COVID-19, narrow the global "immunity gap", and jointly build a global community of health for all.
 
Qin said the Omicron variant poses a new challenge to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games. China will implement more effective measures to protect athletes and guests from all countries.
 
"We are confident to host a streamlined, safe and splendid Winter Olympics," he said.
 
The online meeting was joined by several foreign ministers and representatives of regional organizations, discussing issues such as the global impact and response to Omicron.
 
Qin represented State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the meeting.
 
Omicron is now the dominant COVID-19 variant in the U.S., accounting for 73 percent of new infections last week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday.
 
CDC numbers showed a nearly sixfold increase in Omicron infections in one week. As of the end of November, more than 99.5 percent of coronaviruses were of the Delta variant.

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