Summary List Placement
China will likely have to fully vaccinate 80 to 85% of its population to reach herd immunity, a top China health official said.
The estimate is a significant increase on prior projections, suggesting that defeating COVID-19 is proving harder than China expected.
Shao Yiming, a spokesperson for the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, made the announcement on Monday after China administered more than a billion doses of vaccine, the South China Morning Post reported.
More than 2.2 billion doses would be needed to reach that level of coverage in China, Shao said.
The news comes as cases of COVID-19 have been surging in countries heavily vaccinated with Chinese vaccines Sinopharm and Sinovac, prompting questions about how well the shots work.
China previously said that 70% coverage of the population should be vaccinated to reach herd immunity, The New York Times reported.
Experts generally agree that 70 to 85% of the population has to be vaccinated to reach herd immunity.
China has approved four vaccines, all of which were developed domestically. Two have been given emergency approval by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Here are the reported efficacies for each vaccine against symptomatic disease:
- Sinovac Coronavac: 51%, according to the WHO.
- Sinopharm BIBP: 79%, according to the WHO.
- Sinopharm WIV04: 72% according to published data.
- CanSino Biologics’ vaccine: 68% according to interim data, which has not been peer-reviewed.