More countries turn to Chinese COVID-19 vaccines
Updated 18:58, 16-Feb-2021
The first shipment of 200,000 doses China-provided COVID-19 vaccine arrived at the Robert Mugabe International Airport, Harare, Zimbabwe, February 15, 2021. /CFP

The first shipment of 200,000 doses China-provided COVID-19 vaccine arrived at the Robert Mugabe International Airport, Harare, Zimbabwe, February 15, 2021. /CFP

A growing number of countries across the world have turned to Chinese COVID-19 vaccines as Western vaccine makers' production and delivery hiccups hamper the fight against the pandemic in many countries.

CGTN Infographic

CGTN Infographic

Eastern Europe

As Hungary joined Serbia in spearheading mass inoculation with China's Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine in Europe, other European countries are struggling against a vaccine delivery crisis and exploring a way out of lockdown and into economic recovery.

In around a month, 14 percent of Serbia's 6.5 million population received their first doses of vaccine against COVID-19, thanks to the 1.5 million Chinese-made doses.

Following its neighbor, Hungary on January 31 announced that it has reached a deal with Sinopharm, which will enable a mass immunization of 2.5 million people.

As the first shipment is supposed to arrive next week, Hungary is bound to become the first European Union (EU) member to sign up for Chinese vaccines.

"This deal will speed up vaccination, which could save the lives of thousands of people and contribute to lifting restrictions sooner," said Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.

Also on January 31, German Health Minister Jens Spahn said he is "open" to the use of vaccines from Russia or China in Germany, while Markus Soeder, minister-president of the German state of Bavaria, called on the European supervision body to test Russian and Chinese vaccines "as soon as possible."

A shipment of Sinopharm vaccines will arrive in Bosnia and Herzegovina soon too, as one of its two entities, Republika Srpska (RS), ordered them on February 8, Minister of Health and Social Welfare of RS Alen Seranic told Xinhua.

RS institutions have been following all the scientific effects and references of vaccines from all producers, including Chinese ones, and the efficacy, quality, and safety of vaccines are the three criteria that all vaccines entering RS must fulfill, said Seranic.

Earlier this month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron expressed openness of their countries to any vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which has so far only given green light to vaccines of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca.

The shortage of approved vaccines in Europe has been drawing increasing public criticism and prompting demands for alternative solutions.


Pakistan has become the first country to receive China's vaccine aid after a batch of doses developed by Sinopharm arrived in the country on February 2.

With over half a million infections and more than 11,000 deaths, the South Asian country is struggling against the second wave of the deadly virus.

In addition to Pakistan, China is providing COVID-19 vaccines to 13 developing countries including Brunei, Nepal, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, and Palestine in Asia.

From Jakarta to Manila and Kuala Lumpur, more Asian countries are putting their trust in China as they receive, order, or give the green light to the emergency use of Chinese vaccines.


The first shipment of 200,000 doses of China-provided COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Zimbabwe's capital Harare on Monday morning. The vaccines will cover all frontline health workers firstly, and the excess will be extended to vulnerable groups such as the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions, according to Zimbabwe's vaccine deployment strategy.

Zimbabwean Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, together with Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Guo Shaochun, attended the handover ceremony at the airport.

The country is among the first three African countries to receive the COVID-19 vaccine donations from China, as Equatorial Guinea has received its vaccines on Wednesday, while Sierra Leone is expecting vaccines from the Asian country later in February.

Apart from donations, China has also signed deals with countries like Egypt and Morocco to export the COVID-19 vaccines. In late January, the first shipment of Sinopharm's vaccines arrived at Casablanca airport, Morocco, ready for the country's mass vaccination campaign in the coming days.  

Latin America

In countries like Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Peru, Chinese vaccines also become a much-needed shot for people at a time when a second wave of coronavirus outbreaks has ravaged the region.

Both Chile's President Sebastian Pinera and Peru's President Francisco Sagasti received their first shots this month as the two countries launched their first stage of national vaccination campaigns using Chinese vaccines.

Presidents have chosen to take the lead while sending a message of confidence to the public regarding the vaccine inoculations.  "I want to tell all my compatriots that this vaccine is safe, it is effective, and we have made an enormous effort to be able to vaccinate all Chileans," Pinera told reporters at a press conference.

Mexico has granted emergency use approval to COVID-19 vaccines developed by China's Sinovac and CanSino Biologics. Officials in Latin America's second-largest economy are hoping to source millions of doses from China to boost their vaccination efforts.

CGTN Infographic

CGTN Infographic

Fifteen COVID-19 vaccines developed by Chinese companies are at various trial stages in more than a dozen countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Brazil, Pakistan and Peru. Public health experts are closely monitoring five of these candidate vaccines, which are in the final stage of clinical trials.

Read more: Leaders from several countries praise China for COVID-19 vaccines

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