China has fully vaccinated 889.4 million people against Covid-19 as of Thursday, the national health commission (NHC) has said, adding that more than 2 billion doses Covid shots have been administered.
China had breached the billion vaccine mark on June 19. Since then, it has administered another billion shots in the last 10 weeks.
It also means that the country is well on its way to fully vaccinate its 1.4 billion population by year-end. More than 889.4 million people have been fully vaccinated in China, the NHC spokesperson, Mi Feng said.
Continuous efforts will be made to advance the mass vaccination campaign, Mi said on Friday, warning against any slackness among the public in personal protection.
Speaking at a health conference recently, China’s top respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan had said that the country is aiming to fully vaccinate 80% of its 1.4 billion population by the end of 2021.
China’s push to boost vaccination rates accelerated since July when the highly contagious Delta variant triggered the worst country-wide outbreak since last year.
The outbreak is now under control but authorities have kept up the pace of the country’s vaccine campaign.
The respiratory expert Zhong said achieving herd immunity depends on vaccine efficacy and virus transmissibility. “The efficacy of China-developed vaccines is about 70%, so the country would need more than 80% of the population to be vaccinated before establishing herd immunity,” Zhong was quoted as saying by Chinese state media.
Zhong added China is expected to reach that goal by the end of 2021.
According to experts, herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a population becomes immune to a spreading infection or disease, preventing transmission within communities.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has also said the country will strive to provide 2 billion vaccine doses to the world throughout this year and offer $100 million to Covax.
Speaking at the NHC press conference in Beijing on Friday, Zheng Zhongwei, an NHC official said that experts in China have recommended making booster Covid-19 doses available to specific groups, such as employees at higher risk of exposure to the virus and those who have weak immunity or are aged above 60.
These people who work in the aviation industry, customs, borders, quarantine sites and specific medical institutions, as well as those who travel abroad to places where the virus is still spreading, should get a booster shot six months after completing their regular vaccination regimens, Zheng was quoted as saying.