Beijing, China — China has fully vaccinated more than one billion people against the coronavirus — 71 percent of its population — official figures showed Thursday.
The country had mostly curbed the virus within its borders but is racing to get the vast majority of its population vaccinated as a new outbreak takes hold in the southeast.
“As of September 15, 2.16 billion vaccine doses have been administered nationwide,” said National Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng at a press briefing.
Chinese health authorities said late last month that 890 million people in China had been fully vaccinated and two billion doses administered.
The government has not publicly announced a target for vaccination coverage, but top virologist Zhong Nanshan said last month that the country is likely to have 80 percent of its population inoculated by the end of the year.
China is currently battling an outbreak of the Delta variant in the southeastern province of Fujian that has infected almost 200 people so far in three cities, many of whom are schoolchildren.
The Fujian cluster is the biggest rebound in weeks and comes after the country declared the Delta variant under control, in a test of China’s “zero-case” approach to the pandemic.
China reported 80 new cases on Thursday, of which 49 were domestic transmissions.