China’s military delivered a batch of Covid-19 vaccines to the Pakistan Army on Sunday, according to state media reports.
The Chinese defence ministry said in a statement that it was the first time it had provided coronavirus vaccines to a foreign army.
A report by Xinhua said the delivery was made at the request of the Pakistani military, but did not say if the products had been bought or donated, or which company produced them.
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China’s defence ministry said on Sunday that the PLA also delivered a batch of Covid-19 vaccines to the Royal Cambodian Army the same day.
Beijing earlier donated 500,000 doses of vaccines developed by Chinese firm Sinopharm to Pakistan. They arrived in Islamabad on Monday aboard a Pakistan Air Force plane, according to a report by CGTN, the English-language news channel owned by China’s state broadcaster CCTV.
That was the first batch of vaccines to be donated by the Chinese government to another country, it said.
Tabloid newspaper Global Times said the vaccines delivered to the Pakistani military were also produced by Sinopharm.
In June last year, the PLA began using a vaccine on an experimental basis that had been jointly developed by CanSino Biologics and the Institute of Military Medicine under the Academy of Military Sciences.
CanSino said on Monday that its vaccine had met its primary safety and efficacy criteria during an interim analysis and final stage trials were ongoing in Mexico, Russia and Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Chinese authorities on Friday granted conditional approval for the public use of a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac Biotech.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said last year that Covid-19 vaccines made in China would be a “global public good”.
The country has also agreed to provide 10 million doses via the World Health Organization-led Covax programme, which seeks to ensure developing countries do not miss out.
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