U.S. taxpayers are not funding “China’s vaccine profiteering,” as Josh Rogin suggested in his July 16 op-ed. But lost in that discussion is the reality that the worst global health crisis in a hundred years still rages in many parts of the world, and we need to do all we can to get it under control. Covax has made agreements to purchase more than 5 billion doses from 11 manufacturers to ensure a robust, diverse supply of coronavirus vaccines. By agreeing to buy 110 million doses of Sinovac and Sinopharm — with options for further doses down the line — Covax has gained immediate access to lifesaving vaccines that are proved to be safe and effective and that offer some advantages in low-resource settings when most global manufacturers are unable to supply Covax with the volumes it needs.

No U.S. funds will be used to pay for these doses, and no branding from China will accompany their arrival. Doses will be distributed according to where they are most needed, based on Covax’s equity-based algorithm rather than diplomatic priorities. 

Secured Sinopharm and Sinovac doses together account for only 4.6 percent of Covax’s firm order commitments.

More than 50 percent of U.S. citizens have been fully vaccinated, but only 1 to 2 percent of people in lower-income countries have received their first dose. To stop the virus from circulating and continuing to mutate, we urgently need to address this vaccine divide. People are dying now. Speed in distribution and global solidarity around the common goal of protecting everyone are the only ways to achieve this. 

Seth Berkley, Geneva

The writer is chief executive of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.