Beijing plans to provide comprehensive vaccination for 40% of the country’s nearly 1.4 billion population by the end of this month.
As the world’s most populous country speeds up its immunization program, China announced that it has received more than 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the country.
According to AFP statistics from official sources, the National Health Commission (NHC) announced the news after more than 2.5 billion injections worldwide on Friday.
The NHC did not say how many people were vaccinated. As elsewhere, most vaccines in China are given in two doses.
After a slow start in this country with a population of 1.4 billion, the pace of vaccination has accelerated. According to government statistics, the total dose given has doubled from 500 million times in less than a month.
The lack of transparency and previous vaccine scandals have also led to resistance from residents.
The authorities set an ambitious goal of fully vaccinating 40% of the country’s nearly 1.4 billion population by the end of this month.
Incentives for vaccines
Some provinces provide free vaccines to encourage people to roll up their sleeves. Residents in central Anhui Province received free eggs, while some residents in Beijing received shopping vouchers.
The recent outbreak of a more contagious variant of the virus delta in the southern city of Guangzhou has also sounded a wake-up call for many procrastinating people.
China reported 23 new coronavirus cases on Sunday.
The country’s four conditionally approved vaccines still lag behind Pfizer’s BioNTech and Moderna’s competitors in published effective rates, with success rates of 95% and 94% respectively.
China’s Sinovac previously stated that its injection trials in Brazil showed that the effectiveness of preventing infections was about 50%, and that the effectiveness of preventing cases requiring medical intervention was about 80%.
The effective rates of Sinopharm’s two vaccines were 79% and 72%, respectively, while the overall effective rate of Cansino after 28 days was 65%.
So far, regulators have not approved any non-Chinese vaccines, although they seem to be moving towards approving vaccines developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.
The state news agency Xinhua reported in April that China is expected to produce more than 3 billion doses of vaccine this year.
The health authorities have not stated when China will achieve herd immunity, nor have they stated how much of its vaccine doses will be sold abroad.