China administers over 200m COVID-19 vaccine doses
China has seen over 200 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered nationwide, with an emphasis on front-line workers, university students and people living in border areas, a health official said on Wednesday.
China is ramping up vaccination efforts after a slow start, prompted in part by the virtual elimination of domestic transmission. Just two local cases were reported on Wednesday, both in the city of Ruili, which borders on Myanmar.
Authorities have taken into account the demand for the second dose in the allocation of vaccines to localities, said Mi Feng, spokesperson for the National Health Commission.
Mi urged local efforts in precise vaccine distribution and supply to ensure that people get their second dose within eight weeks following the first one.
China has prioritized COVID-19 vaccination for medical workers since last year. So far, the vaccination rate among health workers has exceeded 80 percent, said another NHC official Li Dachuan.
Meanwhile, the pandemic keeps spreading across the world, with the number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases rising for eight weeks in a row, said Mi.
There were 5.26 million new cases reported globally last week, the highest weekly rise since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Mi said.
As new variants of the virus continue to emerge, China still faces challenges in preventing imported cases and domestic resurgence, he added.
China has approved five domestically produced vaccines and exported millions of doses. They have an efficacy range of 50.7 percent to 79.3 percent, based on company data.