Sinovac Biotech has shipped more than half a million Covid-19 vaccines to Algeria as part of its first delivery for the World Health Organization-backed Covax Facility.
Approximately 567,600 CoronaVac vaccine doses were expected to arrive in Algiers, Algeria’s capital, on Monday after being sent on Friday, Sinovac said.
The company stated that the vaccines were purchased by UNICEF.
Sinovac, a partner of Covax, signed a long-term supply agreement for CoronaVac with the UN agency in July, committing to providing up to 200 million doses this year.
As of Monday, Algeria with a population of 43 million had confirmed 194,671 cases of Covid-19, with 5,179 deaths, and had administered more than 4 million doses of vaccine.
In June, the WHO approved CoronaVac for emergency use, making Sinovac the second Chinese company to receive such approval after state-owned Sinopharm in May.
WHO co-leads Covax, the Covid-19 vaccine sharing scheme which aims to ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine. To date, the initiative has distributed over 215 million vaccines to 138 participants.
Gavi – the public-private global partnership that purchases vaccines for Covax – announced in early July that it had signed agreements to purchase vaccines from Sinovac and Sinopharm. It stated that 50 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine would be delivered by September and 60 million doses of the Sinopharm vaccine by October.
China has increased its contributions to Covax in recent months, with President Xi Jinping pledging $100 million this month to promote “fair and reasonable” vaccine distribution globally at an international forum.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced on the same forum that China would donate 100 million doses of vaccine to Covax by October.
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