China has administered 65 million COVID-19 vaccine doses as of Sunday

FILE PHOTO: People are seen after receiving a dose of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at a vaccination site, during a government-organized visit, in Beijing, China January 15, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

BEIJING (Reuters) – China, which has been accelerating efforts to vaccinate its population for COVID-19, had administered about 65 million doses as of Sunday, an official with China’s National Health Commission told a news briefing on Monday.

While China was among the first countries to begin administering vaccines last year and has been exporting millions of doses of its domestically developed shots to other countries, the vaccination rate for its own population fell behind those of countries such as Israel and the United States.

China has approved four domestically developed vaccines.

The country’s capital city, Beijing, had given 10 million doses, and over 3 million people have received two doses, the official Beijing Daily said on Sunday.

The country aims to inoculate 40% of its 1.4 billion people by the end of June, according to state media, a target that will require that China administer some 4 million doses per day on average – a significant acceleration from the rate of fewer than 1 million per day since the start of March.

“Chinese vaccine manufacturers are still expanding, and with the continuous release of production capacity, the output will gradually increase,” said Tian Yulong, an official with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

He did not disclose China’s vaccine production rate or supply levels when asked by Reuters.

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