China to Produce 3 Billion Vaccine Doses This Year, Will Ramp Up Global Supply

China is expected to produce more than 3 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses this year, an official said on Tuesday.

The country's current production capacity is around 5 billion vaccine doses annually, said Zheng Zhongwei, head of the working group for vaccine development under the State Council joint prevention and control mechanism against Covid-19, Xinhua news agency reported.

Speaking at a sub-forum of the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference, Zheng said that, when the outbreak happened, China immediately focused on research and development for a Covid-19 vaccine.

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A nurse vaccinates a patient as part of the start of the seasonal influenza vaccination campaign Reuters

The country chose to conduct research work on 12 types of vaccines from 10 research units across the country, Zheng said.

China will supply more vaccines globally in the latter half of 2021, he added.

Many Takers

The Chinese vaccine has found many takers around the world, especially in Southeast Asia. Indonesia has already secured 330 million Sinovac vaccine doses.Other Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam, are getting ready to secure Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines, even though new data shows a fall in claimed efficacy rate.

The Philippines said in January that its first-ever batch of COVID-19 vaccines will be from China's Sinovac with the first 50,000 doses allotted for the country's frontline medical workers.

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said in December 2020: "The government is in the final stage of negotiation with Sinovac, CanSino, and Gamaleya to secure vaccine supply increase of more than 80 percent of the country's population or 26.5 million." According to recent reports, the country has procured 14 million Sinovac doses, in addition to 25 million shots from Pfizer-BioNTech and 6.4 million doses from AstraZeneca.

Related topics : Coronavirus