China has accelerated its pace of free COVID-19 vaccinations for the whole nation since late March and administered a billion doses by Saturday, the National Health Commission (NHC) said.
The NHC, however, did not say how many people had been vaccinated.
So far, a total of 21 COVID-19 vaccines have entered clinical trials in China since last year and the government has granted conditional approval for four vaccines for emergency use, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has granted emergency approval for two Chinese vaccines, Sinopharm and Sinovac. China has also supplied and exported the two vaccines to several countries.
China’s nationwide vaccination campaign is open to people aged over 18. The country has approved the emergency use of domestic inactivated vaccines on people aged 3 to 17.
Detailed policies will be formulated for the inoculation of this age group based on the specific COVID-19 situation, the Xinhua report said.
At least 70 per cent of the target population in China is expected to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of this year, Zeng Yixin, deputy head of the NHC said.