|Ambassador Zhang Zuo's speech at the welcome ceremony for the Chinese COVID-19 vaccines|
Distinguished His Excellency Minister Filipce,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, the arrival and official delivery of the first 200,000 doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines in North Macedonia has not only represented a new milestone of solidarity between our two countries in the fight against the epidemic, but also written a new chapter in the friendly relations between our two peoples!
Vaccine cooperation is an important step in preventing, controlling and defeating the epidemic. China has declared vaccines as a global public good and has joined the WHO's COVAX Programme. China is providing urgently-needed vaccines to more than 100 countries and international organisations. The arrival of Chinese vaccines in North Macedonia today is a concrete move by China to fulfil its declaration and a concrete action to join hands in building a community of common health for mankind.
Vaccination is an important tool to control and defeat epidemics. China is currently in the process of mass vaccination, with more than 200 million people vaccinated. However, as a country with a population of 1.4 billion, there is still a big gap to achieve an immunity barrier. The demand for vaccines in China remains enormous. Nevertheless, China is finding ways to provide support to countries in need, including North Macedonia, to jointly protect the lives and people’s health in all countries.
As the epidemic is still spreading, we are opposed to "vaccine nationalism" and are working to bridge the "immunisation gap". We are glad that Chinese vaccines could contribute to the vaccination efforts of people of North Macedonia. The support of all parties are needed for vaccination in this country. China is willing to strengthen cooperation with North Macedonia in the fight against the epidemic and jointly promote economic recovery for the benefit of both our countries and peoples!