On 19 April 2022, Covid-19 vaccines donated by the Chinese Government arrived at Maurice Bishop International Airport, St George, Grenada.
Chinese Ambassador HE Wei Hongtian, Hon. Nickolas Steele, Minister for Health and Social Security attended the handover ceremony and signed the handover certificate.
In his remarks, Minister Steele, on behalf of the Government and people of Grenada, expressed sincere gratitude to the Government and people of China for the continuous support in the fight against Covid-19, and looked forward to strengthening the bilateral cooperation to secure the final victory over the pandemic.
Following are the remarks delivered by Ambassador Wei Hongtian at the ceremony:
Hon. Nickolas Steele, Minister for Health and Social Security,
Dr Shawn Charles, Chief Medical Officer,
Officials from the Grenadian Government,
Friends from the media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We all know that the Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged the world for more than 2 years and has caused severe negative impacts on socio-economic development globally. China and Grenada have stood together, supported each other since the outbreak of the pandemic, and so far, China has donated 8 batches of medical supplies to help Grenada in the fight against Covid-19 including masks, PPEs, antigen test kits and medical equipment. This afternoon, I am glad to welcome and hand over these China-produced Covid-19 vaccines to Grenada on behalf of the Government of the People’s Republic of China. The storage temperature for this vaccine is 2-8°C, and its shelf life is 24 months. It is our sincere hope that this new assistance from China could further promote Grenada’s vaccination programme to safeguard the safety and health of Grenadian people.
This Covid-19 inactivated vaccine (Vero cell) is composed of novel coronavirus strain after Vero cell culture, inactivation, purification and adjuvant adsorption. This product is suitable for healthy people above 3 years old, and after being vaccinated with this vaccine, the body can produce an immune response, used to prevent the novel coronavirus pneumonia. The safety evaluation in accordance with international guidelines has been carried out for the vaccine, and the results showed that the vaccine is safe and effective with controllable quality. It also has good effectiveness against variants. The European Union officially issued the GMP certificate for, and the WHO issued Emergency Use Listing to this vaccine on 1 April and 7 May 2021 respectively. And China successfully produced the first batch of vaccine provided to COVAX on 1 June 2021. Today, we are so excited that this “Made in China” Covid-19 vaccine arrived in Grenada.
Hon. Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen,
China has been calling for closer international cooperation on vaccines to ensure that they are accessible and affordable in developing countries and that they become a global public good.
In the fight against Covid-19, China has always been a pacesetter in global anti-epidemic cooperation and a champion for the equitable distribution of vaccines. That’s what we’ve been saying and what we’ve been doing. Last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the Global Vaccine Cooperation Action Initiative, the core of which is to accelerate equitable access to vaccines in developing countries. China has supplied more than 2.1 billion doses to more than 120 countries and international organisation so far. One in 2 doses of vaccine administered globally is “made in China”. China has also launched the Initiative for Belt and Road Partnership on Covid-19 Vaccines Cooperation with 30 countries, and China was among the first to waive the intellectual property rights of vaccines, and has taken the lead in carrying out joint production with 19 developing countries, with an annual production capacity of more than one billion doses.
China does not hoard vaccines, nor does it supply vaccines that are about to expire to other countries. China will continue to see to it that vaccines are first and foremost a global public good, fulfill its due responsibility, continue to strengthen cooperation with all parties to ensure Covid-19 vaccines truly become vaccines for the people and for humanity. Going forward, China will continue to provide more vaccines to developing countries through various means including donation, so as to contribute to equitable access to vaccines and continuously supporting the international community defeat the pandemic at an early date, achieving common development and building a global community of health for all.
Hon. Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen,
According to World Health Organisation experts, though seemingly less severe than Delta, Omicron is still a dangerous virus and can still cause serious symptoms especially among those with underlying conditions, the elderly, and those who are unvaccinated, and hospitalisation and death are possible. The pandemic is far from over, and vaccination is still the best option to protect oneself, family members, friends and the society as a whole. And I would like to mention that, as of yesterday, about 3.32 billion doses of vaccines have been administered in mainland China.
China’s Covid-19 response measures, based on a people-centred development philosophy, take no chances when it comes to people’s lives and health. The repercussions of lowering the guard could be disastrous for a country with more than 1.4 billion people. So, China seeks to minimise the impact of the pandemic by adhering to the dynamic zero-Covid policy. This approach does not seek to pursue zero infections, rather it calls for measures to bring outbreaks under control in the shortest possible time. This strategy necessitates a firm commitment, swift actions and effective protection measures, and calls for ensuring necessities of life and medical services in the process. The virus is constantly mutating, posing a threat to human life. In the face of all adversities, China is doing all possible with an unshakable conviction that people and their lives are above everything. As China is battling a Covid-19 resurgence attributable to the Omicron variant with tens of thousands of new infections of both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases reported a day, the dynamic zero-Covid approach remains crucial and necessary for China to rein in the highly contagious and elusive virus.
Hon. Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen,
On 17 January 2022, at the virtual session of the 2022 World Economic Forum, Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the world to do everything necessary to clear the shadow of the pandemic and boost economic and social recovery and development, so that the sunshine of hope may light up the future of humanity. We are glad to see that Covid-19 pandemic is put under control well in Grenada, the international tourists, the sports activities, the traditional cultural events are returning back, the economy is gradually recovering, the people are smiling and enjoying relaxation and excitement again. I firmly believe that with the great efforts of the Grenadian Government and its people, and the continuous support of the international community, Grenada will secure the final victory over the deadly Covid-19 and everything will further get back to normalcy. Be assured, China will stand side by side with Grenada in this endeavour.
I wish everyone stay safe and all the best!