China administers one billionth Covid-19 vaccine

Published June 21, 2021
This photo taken on June 20 shows a woman receiving the China National Biotec Group (CNBG) Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine in Hangzhou. — AFP
This photo taken on June 20 shows a woman receiving the China National Biotec Group (CNBG) Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine in Hangzhou. — AFP

BEIJING: China on Sunday announced it had administered its one-billionth shot in the world’s biggest coronavirus inoculation drive.

The global death toll from Covid-19 is now more than 3.8 million and many nations are still battling outbreaks, but vaccine drives in some countries are allowing activities that were unthinkable a few months ago.

China’s vaccine milestone comes after the number of shots administered globally passed 2.5 billion on Friday, according to a count from official sources.

But the Asian giant’s vaccination efforts initially got off to a slow start after a successful fight against the virus left little sense of urgency to get jabbed.

A lack of transparency and previous vaccine scandals have also led to resistance among many residents.

Authorities have set an ambitious target of fully vaccinating 40 per cent of China’s nearly 1.4 billion people by the end of this month.

Some provinces are offering vaccines for free to encourage people to roll up their sleeves. Residents in central Anhui province have been given free eggs, while some living in Beijing have received shopping coupons.

China’s success against the virus stands in stark contrast to Brazil, which on Saturday became the second nation after the United States to surpass half a million Covid-19 deaths.

In India, meanwhile, there were fears that people were not taking the Covid threat seriously enough, just a few weeks after crematoriums were operating around the clock dealing with virus victims.

Doctors are worried that India is letting its guard down again too early as shopping malls and markets buzz with customers once more.

One shopper at a New Delhi mall said she was “fed up being cooped up inside”. “I needed this break, for how long can you remain locked up?” sales executive Surili Gupta, 26, said.

Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2021

Opinion

Lull before the storm
Updated 24 Oct 2021

Lull before the storm

It does not take rocket science to figure out why each of the two sides is taking the stand it is.
The larger debate
Updated 23 Oct 2021

The larger debate

The revelations show how the economy promotes inequality.

Editorial

Anti-government rallies
Updated 24 Oct 2021

Anti-government rallies

Banning a party because it can create a public nuisance sets a dangerous precedent which can be repeated to justify future bans.
24 Oct 2021

End of polio?

AFTER a long struggle, the reward is finally in sight. With only a single case of wild poliovirus reported this year...
24 Oct 2021

Heritage work

IT is encouraging that, slowly, projects of heritage conservation and preservation appear to be taking off. These...
A final push
Updated 23 Oct 2021

A final push

PAKISTAN’S hopes of exiting the so-called FATF grey list have been shattered once again. The global money...
23 Oct 2021

Kabul visit

FOREIGN MINISTER Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s flying visit to Kabul on Thursday is the first official high-level...
23 Oct 2021

Baqir’s blooper

THE remarks made by State Bank governor Reza Baqir at a London press conference have hit a raw nerve in Pakistan. In...