China Responds Positively to Polish Urgency for Vaccines as Albania Still Stuck on Scarce Supplies from Pfizer and COVAX

Editor's note

Polish president Andrzej Duda has talked with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, about buying the Chinese Covid-19 vaccine, his aide said, as the country looked for ways to speed up vaccination of its citizens, The Guardian writes.
The health minister told a Monday press conference that the UK strain is found in 70 percent of infections in the country's current third wave.
President Xi Jinping told his Polish counterpart that China is willing to provide COVID-19 vaccines within its capabilities to Poland in accordance with the European country's demand.
Pointing out that Poland is a major country in Central and Eastern Europe as well as China's comprehensive strategic partner in Europe, Xi said that China has always attached great importance to the development of China-Poland relations.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, China and Poland have been looking out for and helping each other, with the two sides engaging in cooperation in pandemic prevention and control as well as resumption of work and production, which opened a new chapter of their friendship, he said.
Xi said as quoted by Xinhua on Monday that China is willing to continue enhancing exchanges of experience in joint pandemic prevention and control with the Polish side, and in the meantime restoring mutual visits between their peoples in a safe and orderly manner.
Xi said that at the recent China-CEEC Summit successfully convened via video link, he, along with CEEC leaders, reviewed the journey of China-CEEC cooperation, thoroughly summarized development experience, jointly looked ahead to development prospects, reached broad consensus, and made important planning and guidance for cooperation mechanism.
Poland highly appreciates Xi's commitment to making China's COVID-19 vaccine as a global public good and his willingness to carry out vaccine cooperation with CEEC, which shows China is playing the role of a responsible major country under the leadership of President Xi, Duda said.
Duda said he looks forward to visiting China again after the pandemic, and is willing to maintain close and friendly exchanges with Xi to jointly lift Poland-China relations to a new level.
Albania is part of 17+1 cooperation format and PM Edi Rama took part in the February 9 videconference, and according to reports he and Albanian Ambassador to Beijing have expressed wish for expanding cooperation. It's not known if they touched upon the question of vaccines as Albania is in dire need of them with Rama blasting EU on Monday for failure to supply his country with vaccines at a time when the plague is spreading deadly across Albania. Many medical specialists insist on the Chinese alternative of supply with anti Covid vaccines saying they meet standards like other vaccines.
Poland adds to countries like Serbia, Hungary, North Macedonia, Turkey, Czech Republic etc. for which Chinese vaccines have become a life- saving alternative to cope with the health crisis. /