Parts of China face tight COVID-19 vaccine supply: State media

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Some places in China are faced with tight supply of COVID-19 vaccines that has made some residents unable to get their second shots in time, but the crunch would be eased by June as the country steps up production, a health official told state media.

The report comes as the pace of China’s massive inoculation campaign has slowed in recent days.

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China administered around 3.3 million doses a day on average in the past seven days till Monday, down from 4.2 million doses per day on average in the week ended April 12, Reuters calculations showed.

“At present, domestic vaccine supply is relatively tight, but from May, especially after June, the vaccine supply situation will ease significantly,” Zheng Zhongwei, who leads a team coordinating China’s COVID-19 vaccine development projects, told Global Times in an interview.

Zheng did not elaborate how severe the crunch is or where the tight supply has been felt.

China has given 195 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines as of Monday, only behind the United States, and aims to inoculate 40 percent of its population by summer.

Big cities including Beijing and Shanghai have widened its vaccination campaign to include foreigners, and inoculations in some cities are far ahead of the national average, as China prioritizes supplies to key provinces.

Beijing city, for example, has inoculated more than half of its 21.5 population so far.

Zheng said earlier this month that China will likely have produced 3 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of the year, allowing it to meet the demand in the second half of 2021.

China’s national guideline allows up to eight weeks of intervals between two doses of vaccines developed by Sinopharm and Sinovac Biotech.

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