One billion people have been fully vaccinated in China, reported China on Thursday. It is a milestone for the world’s most populous country that brings it closer to its goal of vaccinating 80% of its population by the end of the year. Representing 71% of China’s population of 1.4 billion, it was a significant accomplishment.
About 2.16 billion doses of vaccines have been administered in China that is nearly triple that of India and according to Our World in Data, which tracks vaccination figures which is ranked second for shots given and have doled out 752.7 million doses.
According to Lei Zhenglong, a senior official with China’s National Health Commission, more than 200 million people ages 60 and older have been vaccinated, while about 95 million children ages 12 to 17 have received shots. “The total number of doses and the number of people covered by vaccination in our country rank first in world,” Lei said on Thursday.
Shocked by multiple Delta outbreaks, China recently expanded access to vaccines. The health workers were sent door to door to administer doses and dispatched “vaccination buses” to public spaces according to officials.
Nurses in the countryside could be seen injecting farmers as they worked in the fields. China has no doubts about pushing a more forceful stance on vaccines.
In July, the government changed its messaging, telling the local officials to shift their approach to aiming all those who “should be vaccinated” from those “willing to be vaccinated.”
At least 12 cities in China warned residents that those who refuse vaccinations could be punished if they are found to be responsible for spreading outbreaks said the authorities in August. Although this year many people did not rush to get vaccinated earlier which changed with the arrival of the Delta variant.
Currently, China is contending with a spike in cases in the south province of Fujian. There were a total of 201 infections reported on Thursday.