A Rs4,400 double-dose experimental COVID-19 vaccine is being made available to some residents in an eastern Chinese city, the first details of a mass rollout for an as-yet unproven vaccine. Residents aged between 18 and 59 with “urgent needs” can seek consultations at clinics for a Sinovac Biotech vaccine that authorities have been giving to groups such as medical workers.
The statement from the centre for disease control and prevention did not specify what constituted “urgent needs”. China has already given hundreds of thousands of essential workers at ports, hospitals and other high-risk areas across the country an experimental vaccine. China is desperate to win the global race for a vaccine against a virus which emerged in the central city of Wuhan, as it seeks to complete its narrative of recovery from the public health and economic calamity.
China has signed up to a World Health Organization-led bid to ensure future Covid-19 vaccines are distributed to developing countries, the biggest economy yet to join the attempt to control the pandemic. Beijing has not given details on how much money it would commit to the deal, which has a fundraising goal of $2 billion and aims to provide 92 low and middle-income countries with a future vaccine.