China says 76% of population have received complete doses of Covid-19 vaccines

The country has administered a total of 2.245 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines as of Oct 23, 2021. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BEIJING (REUTERS) - China has given complete doses of Covid-19 vaccines to about 75.6 per cent of its population as at Saturday (Oct 23), National Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng said on Sunday.

Some 1.068 billion people have now been inoculated with the required dosages, out of a population of 1.412 billion, Ms Mi told a news briefing.

The country has administered a total of 2.245 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines as at Saturday, official data showed.

China is giving booster shots to adults whose last dose was at least six months earlier, with priority groups including essential workers, older people and those with weaker immune systems.

Data showed antibodies elicited by vaccines, including the most-used shots from Sinovac and Sinopharm, declined within months.

Dr Wang Huaqing, chief expert for the immunisation programme at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said China would not keep giving people booster shots after booster shots.

"We hope that an ideal vaccine works well with the full doses of immunisation," Dr Wang told the briefing.

"Even if it needs to be strengthened later, the number of boosters is limited," Dr Wang said.

"We hope in the future there will be better vaccines and better vaccination procedures to achieve solid protection among the public."

China has largely contained the virus in most areas, and the sporadic local outbreaks are tiny compared with those seen in other countries.

However, Ms Mi cautioned on Sunday there is increasing risk that China's latest outbreak, involving over 100 infections in a week across 11 provincial areas, will spread further.

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