Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev praised Chinese partners on Friday for upholding their Covid-19 vaccine supply commitments, as he expressed concern over what he believes is an apparent disparity in global vaccine distribution.
“Despite all the statements about solidarity and combined efforts against the coronavirus, in practice, we see that the picture is completely contrary. For example, some countries buy vaccines three or four times more than they need … This means that someone (else) would not (be able to) receive the jab,” he told a video press conference.
Azerbaijan joined COVAX, a multinational vaccine-sharing initiative backed by the World Health Organization, at the very beginning when it was launched, Aliyev said.
Noting that “Chinese partners have remained true to their commitments,” the president said his country has yet to get any of the other vaccines it needs to receive, the Xinhua news agency reported.
He said that Azerbaijan has yet to receive AstraZeneca-Oxford, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Moderna vaccines under the initiative. “And we are not even told when we will get it,” he added.
Mass vaccination against Covid-19 in Azerbaijan kicked off January with the use of the CoronaVac jab developed by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac.
Ibrahim Mammadov, a spokesman for the Cabinet of Ministers, said earlier this week that more than 207,000 Azerbaijani citizens had received their first dose, while more than 35,000 people had been inoculated with a second dose.