China will donate $5 million to an international vaccination organization to fund vaccination for 300 million children in developing countries.
The government signed the deal with the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) on Sept 9.
The money will be contributed between 2016 and 2020, helping Gavi with a project that is expected to reach 300 million children and save five to six million lives.
Between 2002 and 2011, Gavi provided China free Hepatitis B vaccines for over 25 million newborns in the poor, remote west of the country.
“We are very glad to see how China has progressed to become a donor from a recipient,” said Gavi executive Marie-Ange Saraka-Yao.
“China is now playing a role on the international vaccine stage as well,” Saraka-Yao told Xinhua, referring to China’s first forays into manufacturing vaccines and providing them for use abroad.
The Chengdu Institute of Biological Products provided Japanese encephalitis vaccine to Laos in April. Another Chinese manufacturer is likely to be pre-qualified by the WHO this year to produce pneumonia and meningitis vaccine Pneumovax for developing countries in Africa and Southeast Asia.