20 May 2021: China's COVID-19 vaccination rates climb as new outbreaks emerge
China has reached a record number of vaccinations, with more than 15 million doses administered on Monday.
It has administered a total of 422 million doses so far, according to China's National Health Commission.
The country is expecting to achieve herd immunity—when a significant portion of the population has immunity, thereby reducing transmission—by early next year by vaccinating 80% of its 1.4 billion population.
Details: New cases among non-vaccinated persons created push for vaccinations
Vaccinations in China have picked up pace since local outbreaks emerged in the port city of Yingkou in the Liaoning province.
A case reported in the Anhui province on Thursday was linked to the cluster in Yingkou.
There was a push for more vaccination in both provinces after reports emerged that none of the 18 new cases had been vaccinated.
Expert: 'China can manage 20 million daily vaccinations'
Daily vaccinations can reach 20 million if needed, Shao Yiming, a researcher with China Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, told CCTV.
"Vaccine supplies are increased with demand for vaccine prevention and control. The whole country is being immunized in an orderly manner. People should feel urgency but no need for panic. Our supplies are sufficient and production capacity is increasing gradually," Shao said.
Herd immunity: China aims to reach herd immunity by early 2022
Speaking to CCTV on Tuesday, respiratory diseases expert Zhong Nanshan had called for wider immunization to achieve herd immunity.
"The prevention measures we have been using are not enough, not even for China," Zhong said, adding that herd immunity will help reduce coronavirus mutations.
In late March, China had estimated that it will fully vaccinate 70-80% by early 2022 if vaccine production is guaranteed.
Fact: China focuses on testing, tracking, quarantines, lockdowns to tackle outbreaks
Whenever local outbreaks are reported, China focuses on large-scale testing, contact tracing, quarantining, and lockdowns. China has largely beaten COVID-19 barring a few occasional outbreaks. The coronavirus had notably first emerged in China's Wuhan city in late 2019.
Vaccines: China approved sixth vaccine on Friday
China has approved six vaccines for use in an emergency situation, with the sixth vaccine being approved on Friday.
The two-dose inactivated vaccine from Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products has not been through late-stage human trials yet.
The company said that its facility has the capacity to manufacture up to 200 million doses by the end of next year. Production has already started.
Also see: India fast-tracks approval to foreign-made COVID-19 vaccines
Coronavirus: India's tally reaches 10.62 million with 14K+ new cases
US: FDA panel authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use
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