China plans to inoculate 40% of its population with Covid-19 vaccines by the end of June, respiratory disease expert Zhong Nanshan has revealed.
“Today I asked my CDC friends about China’s (vaccination) plan and they replied that (China is) planning to reach 40% by the end of June," said Zhong on Monday at a panel hosted by Tsinghua University and the Brookings Institution.
With a population of 1.4 billion, 40% represents about 548 million people. China has only vaccinated 3.56% of its population — roughly 51 million people — so far, Zhong said.
He added that it could take at least three years to reach any kind of herd immunity.
However, Wu Zunyou of the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention said if existing vaccination rates continue, China and the US could be the first countries to open up travel.
“In the United States, [let’s] look at the vaccination rate," Wu said, speaking at the same event. "Now it's already reached over 20%. Hopefully it can reach over 80% by June. So by August could reach 90 % to reach the herd immunity.
"So if that’s the case, if we could remove all the political barrier [and] just based on the science, the two countries could possibly be the first two countries to remove all the barrier for free travel. We can try our best. No matter what’s the result, we could do our best.”