Beijing, Feb 18: Chinese manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines are open to all potential users, said Chinese Ambassador to Cyprus Liu Yantao on Tuesday.

There is not yet an ongoing negotiation between the European Union (EU) and Chinese vaccine producers, but Chinese manufacturers “are open to all potential users,” said Liu in an interview with the state-run Cyprus News Agency.

“As Austria, Czech and more EU member states express an interest in Chinese vaccines, we believe that this is about getting safe vaccines as soon as possible and for as many people as possible, regardless of who developed them,” the ambassador said.

When asked about how long the delivery would take if one country orders Chinese vaccines today, he said the time of delivery depends on the amount ordered and the sequence of the orders, adding that “Cyprus is our good friend and China will always do its best for friends in need.”

China is conducting clinical trials of 16 COVID-19 vaccines, seven of which have entered phase III trials and two have been approved for public use in China, Liu said, citing China’s Ministry of Science and Technology.

He said that the required storage temperature of Chinese vaccines makes it much easier to transport and distribute, and that China is expected to produce 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines this year.

In China, Sinopharm has been used in the mass vaccination program, in which more than 24 million dozes have been administered, the ambassador said. As for China’s CoronaVac vaccine, he said, countries including Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, Laos and Pakistan have approved it for emergency use.

He said the World Health Organization (WHO) is assessing two Chinese vaccines for “potential emergency use listing.” China, he added, will provide 10 million vaccine doses to COVAX, a WHO-backed global vaccine-sharing initiative that Sinovac, Sinopharm and CanSino have applied to join.


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