China joins global COVAX alliance

Oct. 9, 2020

China announced that it will be joining an international initiative to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to countries worldwide known as COVAX, despite previously declining to participate.

The country signed an agreement with Gavi on Thursday, after initially missing an early deadline to join in September.

Covax is co-led by the Gavi vaccine alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the WHO. It's aim is to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.

Major backers of the project include Japan, Britain, Germany and the EU; The U.S. has declined to join. President Trump previously said that COVAX was “influenced by the corrupt WHO and China.”

As of September, more than 170 countries had signed on to the initiative with almost every pharma company working on COVID-19 vaccines involved in the planning.

Read the AP news coverage