The Chinese government on Thursday donated an additional 2.2 million doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines to Ethiopia, giving a boost to the East African nation's vaccination efforts.
The handover ceremony for the latest donated vaccines was attended by senior Ethiopian government officials and members of the Chinese diplomatic community in the Ethiopian capital.
China has so far donated around 7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Ethiopia, which the Ethiopian Ministry of Health said is playing a crucial role in combating the virus.
Lia Tadesse, Ethiopian Minister of Health, said during the handover ceremony that the latest Chinese donated vaccines are saving lives as part of the Ethiopian government's efforts to vaccinate its people against COVID-19.
"Today's donation of 2.2 million Sinopharm vaccines is helping to access the vaccines to our communities and protect from the COVID-19 pandemic," Tadesse said.
The Ethiopian health minister stressed that the support that has been provided by China is not only limited to the COVID-19 vaccines.
"Within the pandemic, there has been several supports with regards to prevention, treatment, detection and testing," Tadesse said.
"We express our appreciation to this continued solidarity and support to avert this pandemic and also the continued support of the government of China in other areas of the health sector beyond COVID-19," she added.
Zhao Zhiyuan, Chinese Ambassador to Ethiopia, on his part said that the Chinese government-donated vaccines are playing a crucial role in Ethiopia's efforts in combating COVID-19.
"Everyone knows China and Ethiopia are good brothers and sisters, and we are always supporting each other. China cherishes and pay good attention to the friendship with Ethiopia and we will continue to support Ethiopia to fight against COVID-19," said Zhao.
The Chinese ambassador stressed that China will further strengthen its vaccine support to Ethiopia in 2022.
Ethiopia has so far administered a total of 10,965,479 doses to 9,369,036 people, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Health.
According to the ministry, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country reached 459,959 as the death toll from the pandemic reached 7,190 as of Wednesday evening.
According to the ministry, Chinese-donated vaccines are among the most administered COVID-19 vaccines in the East African country.
As part of its commitment to make its vaccines a global public good, China is presently playing a crucial role in terms of vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries, including Ethiopia.