Newsroom / CNA
Vaccines from China could end up being part of the equation in Cyprus’ campaign to inoculate citizens, with smaller European nations weighing their options and the Chinese ambassador saying his country is always ready to help a friend.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, Chinese Ambassador to Cyprus Liu Yantao says his country is conducting clinical trials for 16 vaccines against COVID-19, while also highlighting that vaccines made-in-China can be stored at 8 degrees Celsius.
Foreign media said European governments of smaller nations were turning to China for COVID-19 vaccines following European Union procurement delays and production hiccups.
On Tuesday morning, a shipment of COVID-19 made-in-China vaccines arrived in Hungary, making the country the first EU member state to receive a Chinese vaccine
Ambassador Liu, who assumed office in the Republic of Cyprus in October 2020, responded to questions by CNA including how long it would take to deliver Chinese vaccines if an order was placed now.
"Cyprus is our good friend and China will always do its best for friends in need", the ambassador said, adding that "normally, time for delivery depends on the amount as well as the order in which the request was received.”
On Tuesday morning, a shipment of Made-in-China COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Hungary, making the country the first EU member state to receive a Chinese vaccine.
According to the Associated Press, a jet carrying 550,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine landed in Budapest after flying from Beijing, with the shipment from a state-owned company in the People's Republic enough to treat 275,000 people with two doses.
Chinese vaccines can be stored at 8°C
"A good thing about Chinese vaccines is that they can be stored at 8 degrees Celsius. It is obviously much easier to transport and distribute," Liu said.
Chinese vaccines are not approved by the European Medicines Agency, which has only authorized three shots developed in Germany, United States, and United Kingdom.
“Based on what I know, there is not yet any ongoing negotiation between EU and Chinese manufacturers, but Chinese manufacturers are open to all potential users,” the Ambassador told CNA.
"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," he added.