China Confirms 1 Million Vaccines Already Given
Vaccines developed by Sinovac Biotech Ltd. and the state-owned China National Biotec Group Co. have been dispensed in the country since they were granted emergency-use authorization in July.
China is now planning wider distribution of the experimental shots with those working in hospitals, customs and cold-chain logistics as well as vulnerable groups, including people with pre-existing medical conditions, to receive them first. A later phase of the rollout will involve the general public, Zeng Yixin, vice minister at China’s National Health Commission, told reporters in Beijing Saturday.
Zeng said colder weather with the onset of winter poses challenges to China’s control of the virus, which it has all but eliminated internally with a combination of strict border controls and mass testing.
The assertion of 1 delivered million vaccines puts China well ahead of the U.S. and U.K., which only recently gave emergency authorization to shots developed by drug giant Pfizer Inc. and Germany’s BioNTech SE, allowing them to start vaccinating people in specific target groups.
The U.S. also cleared a Covid-19 vaccine from Moderna Inc. on Friday. Russia, which says it is also already delivering home-grown shots to its population, has vaccinated 320,000 people, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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