July 25, 2021

How China Administered Over 1 Billion Doses of Covid-19 Vaccine

Chairs are available on the sidewalk to wait in the shade of the plane trees of the former French concession, in the center of Shanghai. About fifteen people, rather elderly, wait there for the regulatory thirty minutes after their injection of the Covid-19 vaccine while discussing with the volunteers of the residents’ committee, in orange jackets and caps. Others prefer to stay cool in the small room, one eye on the animal documentary broadcast on television, the other on their smartphone.

On arrival at this vaccination center, the care is quick: some personal information to fill in, a warning (pregnant women and people with heart disease are excluded from the vaccination), a waiver to sign, and the patients report the sleeve in front of the two nurses wrapped in a disposable gown.

“Vaccinate 80% of the population”

China crossed the threshold of one billion doses injected on June 21 to reach 1.12 billion on Thursday, June 24, or more than a third of the doses administered worldwide (2.8 billion). After a sluggish start to the vaccine campaign, the authorities have deployed significant resources to reach an impressive cruising rate today: 18 million daily doses on average, with a record 23 million doses injected on June 18. Enough to vaccinate France in three days! With 1.4 billion inhabitants, the company promises to be a little longer for China, especially as rural areas, less dense, will take longer to cover.

Read also Covid-19 in the world: a billion vaccines administered in China, while the noose is loosened in Japan

But, on Tuesday June 22, when the billion-dose milestone was announced, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention revised its target upwards to take into account the contagiousness of new variants and the limited efficacy of Chinese vaccines.

“Since our vaccines are not 100% protective, we must increase the proportion of the vaccinated population from 66% to at least 80%, justifies Shao Yiming, epidemiologist at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This represents more than a billion people. “ That is more than two billion injections needed. China has therefore come halfway.

Read also Covid-19: China expresses doubts about the effectiveness of its own vaccines

The success is primarily industrial, to be blamed on the vaccine manufacturers Sinopharm, Sinovac and Cansino, the three pharmaceutical groups whose products are currently distributed, which are among the first to have developed a vaccine against Covid-19 (thanks to the proven technique of inactivated viruses for the first two, and by means of a recombinant adenovirus for the third).

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