China has reportedly “inoculated” mostly with one shot around 1.2 billion of its 1.3 billion-plus population but a debate is now stirring about next steps as the Delta variant of Covid-19 spreads in the country’s south.
As total vaccinations in China near the size of the country’s population, the southern industrial powerhouse cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen are still on a wartime footing to contain the spread of the Delta strain.
However, there are divergent views on how best to proceed between the National Health Commission (NHC) and the Chinese National Center for Disease Control.
While China’s nationwide “immunization blitz” has seen the number of doses administered pass 1.2 billion, according to the NHC’s latest June 29 figures, the commission did not reveal how many have been fully inoculated with two shots.
Xinhua cited NHC director Ma Xiaowei as saying that more than 100 million shots had been administered every five days since June. Beijing is aiming to rev up its roll-out to almost all residents, with an extra dose of urgency as it counted down to the previously stated end-of-June goal to fully vaccinate 40% and pave the way for herd immunity.
NHC experts, including Dr Zhang Wenhong, the director of the NHC’s National Infectious Disease Medical Center in Shanghai, said the 40% goal was well within “touching distance,” even though the health authority was yet to release more figures.