China has done everything in its power to keep the virus outside its borders and protect its people — almost.

It has kept cases and deaths remarkably low through a "COVID zero” strategy that has involved tracking and tracing every case, closed its borders and locked down cities of millions of people. It fostered domestic vaccines that allowed the country to carry out a massive inoculation effort.

But two years into the pandemic, China’s 1.4 billion people still don’t have access to one of the most effective coronavirus vaccines the world has to offer. Those vaccines use the breakthrough mRNA technology that was developed and approved in the West, and they have been embraced by dozens of countries.