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US vaccine hoarding ‘strangles other’s lifeline in virus fight’

A vocational nurse administers the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a mobile vaccine clinic hosted by Mothers in Action and operated by the Los Angeles County of Public Health on July 16, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (FREDERIC J BROWN / AFP)

BEIJING – A spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry has criticized US practice of hoarding and wasting valuable COVID-19 vaccines, saying it is "no different from strangling developing countries' vulnerable anti-epidemic lifeline."

Zhao Lijian made the remarks on Thursday when asked to comment on an opinion piece published by the Washington Post, which criticized the United States of hoarding a vast number of vaccines that leads to severe waste.

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"The pandemic is spreading in many parts of the world with greater challenges posed by variants of the virus," Zhao said. "Every dose of the vaccines hoarded and wasted by the US could have been used to save someone's life."

"When the United States throws surplus vaccines in the trashcan, we should not only think about the numbers of vaccines wasted, but also be mindful that the United States is walking away from conscience and international responsibility," he added.