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China pledges to make its coronavirus vaccine a 'public good'


This comes after China has been criticized for its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak
China pledged to make its coronavirus vaccine a global public good once one is available, with President Xi Jinping seeking to defuse criticism of its response to a pandemic that has killed more than 315,000 people around the world.
Xi’s comments come amid growing concern that countries will put national interests first in the quest for a protective shot, seen as the key to getting economies moving again.
“COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made a global public good, which will be China’s contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries,” Xi said in a speech to the World Health Assembly, the governing body of the Geneva-based World Health Organization.
The European Union’s own proposal to the assembly struck a similar tone, highlighting the need for all countries to have “unhindered timely access” to shots, medicines, diagnostics and any other technologies needed to fight the pandemic.
Among the dozens of vaccine projects under way worldwide, China has five candidates already in human trials. More will enter such tests next month.
The country has faced rising scrutiny over its handling of the virus, especially from members of the Trump administration.

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