EU provides free vaccines to China amid the rise of Covid

EU provides free vaccines to China amid the rise of Covid

China has experienced an increase in the number of covid cases after easing its no-covid policy. (File)

Brussels, Belgium:

The European Union has provided China with a free COVID-19 vaccine, the EU executive said on Tuesday, as infections there increased after Beijing eased its “no COVID” policies. “.

A spokesman for the European Commission told journalists at a regular press conference that China has yet to respond to the offer. He did not specify how many vaccines the EU is supplying or their manufacturers.

“In view of the COVID situation in China, Commissioner (Health) Stella Kyriakides has reached out to her Chinese counterparts to show EU solidarity and support,” he said.

“This includes public health expertise as well as variant-adjusted European Union vaccine grants.”

When asked if Beijing would accept the EU’s offer, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning avoided answering directly, telling Reuters that China’s vaccination rates and treatment capacity continued to fall. continue to increase and their supply is “full”.

She said China is willing to “strengthen solidarity and cooperation with the international community” to better meet the challenges of the pandemic, although it can “meet the needs of anyone who wants to be vaccinated.” “.

So far, China has insisted on using only Chinese-made vaccines – which are inactivated viruses and not based on Western mRNA technology – for its people.

Last month, Germany shipped 11,500 BioNTech COVID vaccines to German companies as well as embassy and consulate locations in China for use by German citizens there.

A source familiar with the matter said at the time that negotiations were underway with other European Union governments about making them available to citizens of other nationalities.

EU health experts will meet on Tuesday to discuss the COVID situation in member states ahead of another meeting on Wednesday when EU government representatives will consider the bloc’s coordinated approach to with tourists from China.

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