Amid the still-ravaging COVID-19 pandemic, a number of countries including Hungary, Senegal, Morocco and Zimbabwe have received a special Spring Festival gift from China – batches of coronavirus vaccines have arrived to aid the locals’ fight against the deadly disease, which experts said serves as a strong rebuke to the Western media’s claims of China giving an empty promise to those in need.
Hungary dispatched a chartered flight which arrived in Beijing and picked up its first batch of the China-developed Sinopharm vaccine on Tuesday. The shipment arrived in the country’s capital of Budapest on the same day, making Hungary the first European Union member to purchase China-produced vaccine.
Tamas Menczer, state secretary of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said during an interview with CCTV News that saving lives is the top priority for the country, and China’s vaccine has played a key role in this regard, CCTV News reported on Tuesday.
Senegal has also ordered its first vaccine shipment from China, which is also the first among sub-Saharan Africa countries. A chartered flight carrying the packages has set forth on its journey back on Wednesday morning, and is scheduled to arrive on Thursday.
Morocco received its second batch of coronavirus vaccines from China on Tuesday. The batch will be distributed to injection sites after the local drug administration confirms its quantity and quality, CCTV News reported on Wednesday. Morocco welcomed its first shipment of vaccines from China on January 27, and initiated its nationwide inoculation plan the next day.
Some 200,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines donated by China arrived in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare early on Monday morning, becoming the first-ever batch of vaccines that the country has received as it ramps up efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The local government said that the doses can satisfy vaccination needs for 100,000 people, which will be distributed in priority to front-line medical workers. Zimbabwe has purchased another 600,000 doses from China that are scheduled to arrive in early March.
Several other countries, including Pakistan and Equatorial Guinea, also gave the green light for more China-developed coronavirus vaccines to be imported, the Global Times has learned.
“It is a powerful rebuke of some Western media claims about China giving others a ‘pipe dream’ in that China has delivered its promise to make coronavirus vaccines a kind of global public goods,” a Beijing-based vaccine expert told the Global Times on the condition of anonymity on Wednesday.
China has previously confirmed an annual production capacity of 1 billion doses, but the actual number may surpass or even double it, the expert said.
“As the epidemic has been successfully contained in China, there is no need to promote nationwide inoculations so far,” he explained. “So the vaccines have been exported to countries more in need of curbing the disease.”