Billion jabs delivered in China

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 21 Jun 2021

The number of Covid-19 jabs administered in China has passed the billion mark, or more than a third of shots given worldwide.

It is unclear what percentage of China's population has been inoculated, but its vaccination drive got off to a slow start after a successful fight against the virus left little sense of urgency. A lack of transparency and vaccine scandals also led to resistance.

Authorities have set a target of fully vaccinating 40 percent of China's nearly 1.4 billion people by the end of this month.

Some provinces offer free vaccinations to encourage people to roll up their sleeves. And residents in Anhui are giving free eggs with jabs, while some people in Beijing collect shopping coupons.

An outbreak of the more contagious Delta variant in Guangzhou has also been a wake-up call.

The country has four conditionally approved vaccines, whose efficacy rates remain behind jabs by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which have 95 percent and 94 percent success rates, respectively.

China's Sinovac said trials in Brazil had showed around 50 percent efficacy in preventing infection and 80 percent in preventing cases requiring medical intervention.

Sinopharm's two vaccines have efficacy rates of 79 percent and 72 percent respectively, while the overall efficacy for CanSino stands at 65 percent after 28 days.

China is expected to produce more than three billion vaccine doses this year.

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