Within days, China will reach a staggering one billion doses in its Covid-19 vaccination campaign – a scale and speed unmatched by any other country in the world.
As of Wednesday, China had administered more than 945 million doses, three times the number issued in the United States and nearly 40% of the 2.5 billion doses administered worldwide.
The number is all the more remarkable since its deployment started slowly. China did not reach its first million doses until March 27, two weeks behind the United States. But the pace picked up dramatically in May, with more than 500 million punches delivered in the past month, according to data from China’s National Health Commission.
On Tuesday alone, he administered more than 20 million doses. At this rate, it risks exceeding a billion doses this weekend.
But several recent local epidemics, notably in the northern provinces of Anhui and Liaoning and Guangdong in the south, have fueled fears of infection, prompting a rush to get vaccinated in the affected areas.
For those who are still reluctant, China has a powerful tool in its arsenal: a one-party top-down system that embraces everything and forces in action, and a sprawling bureaucracy that can be quickly mobilized.
The top-down approach has been touted by authorities as a force in the Chinese system that has helped curb the virus – and has again been deployed to speed up inoculations.
The all-out campaign to “vaccinate everyone who can be vaccinated” is being waged across the country, in large cities and small villages, with government agents descending into neighborhoods to convince people to get the vaccine. In state-owned enterprises, meanwhile, employees are encouraged by their bosses to get vaccinated, while vaccination sites offer perks, ranging from vouchers to free groceries and ice cream.
Governments around the world have tried carrot-and-stick approaches to encourage people to get vaccinated. But in China, punitive measures can sometimes take a darker turn.
Some residential complexes have warned residents that they will be barred from entering unless they are vaccinated, according to residents’ social media posts. A Shanghai shopping center has installed a sign at its entrance, requiring customers to present their vaccination certificates to enter. A municipal park in northern Hebei Province turned away unvaccinated visitors and guided them to nearby vaccination sites.
As the number of vaccinations skyrocketed, some local governments even suspended the inoculation of the first dose this month, to make sure there were enough people to receive their second dose on time.
China’s National Health Commission does not offer a breakdown of the number of people fully vaccinated. But the distribution is uneven. By the first week of June, the major cities of Beijing and Shanghai had fully immunized nearly 70% and 50% of their residents, respectively. But the rate in Guangdong and Shandong provinces remained below 20%, according to Reuters.
Zhong Nanshan, a leading epidemiologist and government adviser, said China aims to fully immunize 40% of its population by the end of the month and double that percentage by the end of the year.
Due to its huge population, China’s doses per 100 people always lag behind countries like the United States and Britain. But if his vaccination campaign can keep up with the current pace, he will quickly catch up.
Huge backlog at Chinese ports could ruin your holiday shopping this year
Do your Christmas shopping earlier this year, for example very early.
A coronavirus outbreak in southern China has clogged ports critical to global trade and caused a shipping backlog that could take months to clear.
That’s because authorities in Guangdong province – home to some of the world’s busiest container ports – have been forced to lock down communities and halt trade so they can bring the outbreak under control.
While the number of cases has declined, major ports are still operating below capacity, creating a domino effect of delays across the region. And that’s bad news especially when you’re home to Shenzhen and Guangzhou, the fourth and fifth largest full container ports in the world.
The result: The pain of this delay may soon be felt by retailers and consumers, leading to a shortage of goods and price increases throughout the end of the year.
The clog “adds further disruption to an already stressed global supply chain, including the significant maritime portion of it,” Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst for the shipowners association, told CNN Business Bimco.
He warned that people “might not find everything they were looking for on the shelves when shopping for Christmas presents later in the year.”
Learn more about the latest threat in the current supply chain crisis on CNN Business.
- Danny Fenster, an American journalist detained in Myanmar more than three weeks ago, appeared in court in Yangon, according to Frontier Myanmar, the news outlet for which Fenster works as an editor.
- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has admitted his country is facing food shortages, which it blamed for last year’s typhoon and floods, just months after warning North Koreans of a potential crisis imminent.
- And in rural Indonesia, live chickens are being donated by local authorities to encourage older residents to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Photo of the day
An editorial searched: Hong Kong police on Thursday declared the office of the Apple Daily newspaper a crime scene, after 500 officers attended the scene to arrest executives and editors and seize journalistic material under the Law on national security of the city. The arrests and investigation are the latest step in an escalating crackdown on the provocative, anti-Beijing tabloid, which has emerged as a media freedom star in Hong Kong in what many analysts see as a landscape of increasingly hostile to industry.