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COVID-19 vaccine to be priced fairly, ministry says

By MO JINGXI | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-10-01 08:21
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A staff worker shows a sample of COVID-19 vaccine which is still at the trial stage at a lab with the China National Pharmaceutical Group Co on April 10, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]

Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin on Wednesday dismissed media reports that China's coronavirus vaccine products are being priced much higher than those produced by Western countries, saying that the reports are groundless.

Speaking at a news conference in Beijing, Wang said that as the vaccines are still being developed in different countries, how they will be priced is still unknown.

"But for the Chinese side, one thing is clear. That is, we will make the COVID-19 vaccine a global public good sold to the world at a fair and reasonable price," he said, adding that China will prioritize providing vaccines to developing countries in a variety of ways, including via donations and grant assistance.

According to the spokesman, China is pressing forward with its vaccine development in order to deal with the novel coronavirus pandemic.

At the 73rd session of the World Health Assembly in May, President Xi Jinping pledged that China's COVID-19 vaccine will be a global public product when it becomes available, and that the nation will ensure vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.

"China has made a clear commitment, and we always honor our word," Wang told reporters.

On Wednesday, the spokesman also responded to a forecast from World Bank that the country's GDP growth will be 2 percent this year.

China's growth is expected to be 7.9 percent next year based on the assumption of continued recovery and normalization of activity in major economies if a vaccine is released, it said.

"The report showed that the international community spoke highly of the progress China has made in economic and social development while taking measures to prevent and control the pandemic," Wang said.

It is expected that the accelerated recovery of the nation's economy will provide more opportunities for expanding economic and trade cooperation between China and foreign countries, give more impetus to the global recovery and also instill more confidence in people worldwide, he added.

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