China passes HALF A BILLION Covid-19 vaccines administered in latest milestone

China has administered more than 500 million vaccines in the fight against Covid-19, inoculating more than 10 million people every day, as Beijing aims to have vaccinated 40% of its population by the end of June.

In an update on Monday, the Chinese government announced that as of May 23, 518 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine had been administered. This means that Beijing has now administered 40 shots for every 100 people in China, although most people will be requiring two doses. 

The figure is approximately 200 million more than the US, where nearly 300 million people have been inoculated. In the US, around 85 doses have been administered for every 100 people. 

According to the Global Times, citing data from China’s National Health Commission (NHC), the number of shots administered has skyrocketed over the past week. 13.8 million people were vaccinated on Wednesday, 17.2 million on Thursday, 16.6 million on Friday, and 13.9 million on Saturday. 

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In March, Beijing said it wanted to vaccinate 40% of the country’s population, approximately 560 million citizens, by the end of June – although it did not specify whether it aimed to have fully inoculated 560 million people by this date. Available data on Monday does not say how many first and second doses have been administered. 

Meanwhile, the government in Taiwan, which is considered by China to be an integral part of the country, is coming under increasing pressure to use Chinese vaccines as domestic case numbers rise with just 1% of the population inoculated. Taiwan has so far only received 700,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

One former opposition leader, Hung Hsiu-chu, has called on the island’s president to accept Chinese vaccines as soon as possible, saying “the real enemy is the virus, not the mainland.”

Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said on Monday that the country would consider extending its highest Covid alert level amid high domestic infection rates.

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