China to donate 600 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Africa

Virus Outbreak China Africa

BEIJING (AP) — China has pledged to donate 600 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccines to Africa as the world grapples with the unequal distribution of the shots between rich and poor countries.

Chinese President Xi Jinping made the promise Monday in a video speech to the opening ceremony of a China-Africa forum on economic cooperation.

He said China will supply 1 billion doses in all. The other 400 million are to come through other routes such as production by Chinese companies in Africa.

“We need to put people and their lives first, be guided by science, support waiving intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines, and truly ensure the accessibility and affordability of vaccines in Africa to bridge the immunization gap,” he said.

The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, which is held every three years, is being hosted by Senegal. It runs through Tuesday.