China is about to have 1 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine

China is expected to reach the milestone of using 1 billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccine by the end of this week, a major milestone in the world’s largest vaccination program in the country.

Medical workers inject a Covid-19 vaccine at a makeshift medical center in Beijing, China. Photo: AFP

The South China Morning Post newspaper reviews,This is an important step forward for China’s national vaccination program, which has made an effort to administer 20 million injections over several days in recent weeks. In fact, the number of doses of anti-Covid-19 vaccine injected in China has doubled since May 23.

According to the latest data from China’s National Health Commission, as of June 19, more than 990.25 million doses of anti-Covid-19 vaccine have been injected in the country. With such a large number of Covid-19 vaccines being injected, China has made a miracle when 1 out of every 3 doses of vaccine in the world is injected in China. according to Bloomberg.

The total number of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered globally reached 2.5 billion doses, at a rate of 37 million doses per day, as of June 18. Number of doses of Covid-19 vaccine injected daily In China this month reached more than 18 million, of which on June 18, the highest number of doses was recorded at 23 million doses.

“It’s really impressive scale (vaccination), the scale of deployment and (production) behind it is just as impressive,” said Zoltán Kis, a research fellow at the Center for Future Vaccine Production at the University Royal College of London said.

China aims to have a Covid-19 vaccine for 40% of the population by July, and aims to have at least 70% of the population vaccinated with Covid-19 by the end of the year. Until now, China has relied entirely on the source of its own Covid-19 vaccine.

Earlier this month, Chinese officials made a rare revelation that 622 million people in the country had been vaccinated against Covid-19, as of June 10, but they did not specify how many of these had been vaccinated. full dose injection.

Five of the seven Covid-19 vaccines that have been approved for commercial or emergency use require two doses and eight weeks between injections. Another Covid-19 vaccine requires three doses.

China has accelerated its Covid-19 vaccination campaign after several southern localities such as Guangzhou and the Guangdong region recorded additional outbreaks, with more than 100 cases confirmed since. Last May.

Responding to Xinhua earlier this month, Vice Chairman of China’s National Health Commission Zeng Yixin said: “Recent local cases of Covid-19 show that the epidemic prevention and control situation is still dire. paralyzed”. “We need everyone’s help to build a great wall of immunity,” Zeng Yixin said.

China’s vaccine manufacturers have used their experience in mass production of other vaccines with the same technology to improve domestic Covid-19 vaccine production capacity.

“Both pharmaceutical companies Sinopharm and Sinovac have made vaccines with inactivated technology (produced by using pathogens that are cultured and destroyed in a laboratory) to fight viruses, such as viruses. hepatitis A for a long time, so they have the capacity and expertise, but producing on such a large scale is not easy,” Prof. Jin Dong-yan, a virologist from the University of Hong Kong.

“They can scale easily, that’s not a problem,” Prof. Jin Dong-yan added. However, the challenge is to maintain the rigorous quality control oversight necessary to ensure the efficacy of inactivated vaccines, which, unlike some other vaccines, require biosafety facilities. special study.

By some estimates, China’s vaccine manufacturers could produce at least 3 billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in 2021. In early 2021, Feng Duojia, chairman of the China Vaccine Industry Association, estimated that Vaccine factories in the country could produce 5 billion doses of the Covid-19 vaccine by 2022, and executives of some vaccine manufacturers say the number could be higher.

The June forecast of the life science data analytics company Airfinity (UK) shows that the total global production of Covid-19 vaccines in 2021 will reach more than 11 billion doses, of which China’s Sinovac is in the list. Top 3 vaccine manufacturers have the largest contribution with 1.35 billion doses.