A health worker inoculates a woman with a dose of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine during a mass vaccination at a zoo in Surabaya on Sept 13, 2021. (JUNI KRISWANTO / AFP)
GENEVA – China and a group of like-minded countries support the waiver of intellectual property rights for COVID-19 vaccines, and call upon competent countries to take an active part in international cooperation in this regard, a Chinese envoy said Tuesday.
Chen Xu, head of the Chinese Mission to the UN Office at Geneva, stressed that inequitable distribution and unbalanced vaccination remain prominent challenges and the gap in immunization urgently needs to be addressed
Speaking on behalf of a group of countries at the ongoing 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council, Chen Xu, head of the Chinese Mission to the UN Office at Geneva, also called upon all member states and other parties concerned to expand vaccine production and upgrade production capabilities of developing countries by export, donation, joint research and development, franchised production and transfer of know-how.
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"The COVID-19 pandemic and the emergence of different variants has inflicted severe negative impacts on economic and social development in all countries, especially in developing countries and threatened the health of the people, particularly those in more vulnerable situations," Chen noted.
Saying that vaccination is a powerful tool to combat the pandemic, Chen stressed that inequitable distribution and unbalanced vaccination remain prominent challenges and the gap in immunization urgently needs to be addressed.
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"We support the call of the United Nations for fair and equitable distribution of and access to COVID-19 vaccines globally, and urge all countries to put the rights to life and health first instead of other considerations such as economic, political or other interests," he said.