After a cautious start, China is currently vaccinating at a breakneck speed.
China has boosted up its vaccination campaign, administering 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses in just five days last month.
After a sluggish start, China is now doing what almost no other country in the world can: use the power and all-encompassing reach of its one-party government, as well as a mature domestic vaccine industry, to give vaccinations at an unprecedented rate.
Although the rollout is far from perfect, with uneven distribution, Chinese public health officials now say that by the end of the year, they hope to have inoculated 80 percent of the country’s 1.4 billion people.
China had distributed more than 704 million doses as of Wednesday, over half of which were given out in May alone.
According to Our World in Data, an internet research site, China accounts for about a third of the 1.9 billion shots supplied worldwide.
Vaccination is being urged from all corners of society. Companies provide vaccinations to their employees, schools encourage children and staff to get immunizations, and local government workers monitor residents.
That pressure highlights both the system’s strength, which allows it to consider vaccinating more than a billion people this year, as well as the threats to civil liberties, which are a concern around the world but especially severe in China, where there are few safeguards.
“The Communist Party has personnel in every hamlet, every neighborhood,” said Ray Yip, a public health expert and former country director for the Gates Foundation in China. “That is the most draconian aspect of the system, but it also allows for really effective mobilization.”
According to the rolling seven-day average of Our World in Data, China is presently averaging around 19 million shots every day.
That would imply a dose every three days for everyone in Italy. When the effort was at full throttle in April, the United States, which has approximately a fourth of China’s population, hit roughly 3.4 million shots a day.
It is still unknown how many Chinese individuals are properly immunized, which could range from one to three. (This is a brief piece.)