Aug 24, 2020 07:25 PM

Premier Says Mekong Countries Will Get Chinese Vaccine First


What’s new: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced Monday that the country will prioritize countries around the Mekong river for aid once Covid-19 vaccines are available. Li made the remarks during a video conference with leaders of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC), a regional dialogue mechanism that consists of six member countries along the Mekong river basin, China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.

The premier did not elaborate on details of the vaccine aid program, but said China will set up special funds to promote public health under the framework of the LMC Special Fund, and continue to provide anti-epidemic materials and technical support to the Mekong region.

The background: In May, China’s President Xi Jinping pledged that the country’s development and deployment of Covid-19 vaccines will be treated as a global public good to ensure vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.

China has been authorizing the emergency use of some domestically developed Covid-19 vaccines since late last month, a senior Chinese health official confirmed in a TV interview (link in Chinese) on Saturday. These vaccines were used by some high-risk groups, such as frontline medical workers and civil servants, according to the official.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Lu Zhenhua ( and editor Heather Mowbray (

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