China aims to inoculate 50 million people with homegrown Covid-19 vaccines ahead of February’s Lunar New Year celebrations.
Tao Lina, a vaccination expert formerly with the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention, confirmed the target to CNN on Monday after reviewing a transcript of a government conference call on December 15, where the mass vaccination rollout plan was discussed.
Tao added that implementation will depend on conditions on the ground.
“It is only a plan and whether the target can be reached depends on the actual situation,” he said.
Chinese authorities have said their first step will be to vaccinate essential workers such as medical and disease control professionals, customs and border inspection workers, and people in the food industry, according to health officials who attended a press conference Saturday on the country’s vaccination plan.
Since July, China has administered more than a million doses of domestically produced vaccines to people considered “high-risk” groups under an emergency use program. Officials say they have found no serious adverse reactions so far.
Currently, five vaccines developed by Chinese companies are going through the final phase of clinical trials in more than a dozen countries around the world.