China Says One Billion Doses of COVID Vaccine Administered

China Says One Billion Doses of COVID Vaccine Administered

China has announced that more than a billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the country, as the most populous nation in the world has stepped up its vaccination program.
The announcement by the National Health Commission (NHC) comes after the number of vaccines administered worldwide surpassed 2.5 billion on Friday, according to an AFP count from official sources.

The NHC did not say how many people had been vaccinated. As elsewhere, most vaccines in China are given in two doses.

The pace of vaccinations has accelerated in the country of 1.4 billion people after a slow start. The total number of doses administered has doubled to 500 million in less than a month, according to government counts.

A lack of transparency and past vaccine scandals have also led to resistance from residents.

The authorities have set an ambitious goal of fully immunizing 40% of the country’s nearly 1.4 billion inhabitants by the end of the month.

Incentives for vaccines

Some provinces offer free vaccines to encourage people to roll up their sleeves. Residents of central Anhui province received free eggs, while some living in Beijing received vouchers.

A recent outbreak of the more contagious delta variant of the virus in the southern city of Guangzhou has also served as a wake-up call to many dragging their feet.

China reported 23 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday.

The country has four conditionally approved vaccines, whose published efficacy rates remain lower than rival vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which have success rates of 95% and 94%, respectively.

Chinese company Sinovac previously said trials of its shot in Brazil showed around 50% effectiveness in preventing infections and 80% in preventing cases requiring medical intervention.

Sinopharm’s two vaccines have efficacy rates of 79% and 72% respectively, while the overall efficacy of CanSino rises to 65% after 28 days.

Regulators have not approved any non-Chinese vaccine so far, although they appear to be moving towards doing so for the one developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

China is expected to produce more than three billion doses of the vaccine this year, state news agency Xinhua reported in April.

Health officials have not said when China will achieve collective immunity or what proportion of its vaccine doses will be sold overseas.


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