How China can assist South Africa's Covid-19 vaccine shortage
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By Guan Jintai
According to the latest statistics, the pandemic in South Africa is critical, with 3 754 newly confirmed cases every day and the infection rate rising from 4% in April to 11% in May.
South Africa once rested their hope with Western vaccines, however Johnson&Johnson and Pfizer have delayed their delivery date again owing to manufacturing problems in their US factories. This has contributed to the vaccine shortage and increase in infection rates in South Africa.
Dr. Kenny Jacobs, a qualified doctor and member of the national Portfolio Committee of Health, said that as a world leader, the United States should undertake to fulfil its responsibilities in providing vaccines for the international community. Dr Jacobs is committed to the prevention and control of the pandemic. He said that South Africa, as a responsible country, had not only established a professional institute to cope with the pandemic, but also had issued a series of policies including alcohol prohibition and social distancing.
At present, South Africa is adopting flexible administrations to revive its economy. .
According to an open document, onJune 1, 2021, the WHO validated Sinovac vaccine for emergency use. There are now two Chinese vaccines – Sinovac and Sinopharm approved by the WHO. A report released by Institute Butantan in St. Paul, Brazil has proven the Sinovac vaccine to be effective in it’s use in Brazil, England and South Africa.
When it comes to international cooperation in vaccines, Dr Jacobs said no solutions would be overlooked by South Africa. As for the choice of vaccine, he pointed out that South Africa wishes to manufacture mass supplies of the vaccine at an affordable price.
As long as it was proved to be effective, with no side effects, people should get vaccinated. He stressed that China and South Africa, both BRICS members with close bilateral ties should have more cooperation in different fields.
Wang Wenbin, spokesman of the ministry of foreign affairs of China, says China has successfully provided over 350 million doses of vaccine for the international community, including aid to over 80 countries and exporting to more than 40 countries. Chinese vaccines have been proved to be safe and reliable, and China has made a practical contribution to ensuring that the Covid-19 vaccine is available in many developing countries.
According to sources Chinese vaccines have now entered the security assessment procedure in South Africa, and welcome the WHO validating the Sinovac vaccine for emergency use. It is now vital that the Health Products Regulatory Authority of South Africa consider importing Sinovac vaccine for mass use.