Delegates to China’s Biggest Political Event Get Sinopharm Shots

Thousands of delegates to China’s high-profile annual political gathering in Beijing have received vaccines developed by China National Biotec Group Co., state media reported.

More than 5,000 delegates to the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference were inoculated, the People’s Daily reported, citing Sinopharm Group Co. chairman Yu Qingming. CNBG is a unit of Sinopharm Group. The event’s attendees showed a high level of trust in Sinopharm vaccines, the Communist Party mouthpiece cited Yu as saying.

The NPC, an annual parliamentary pageant, opens Friday with lawmakers attending from across the country. The CPPCC, a political advisory body, happens at about the same time.

Sinopharm’s annual production capacity for Covid vaccines is set to reach 3 billion doses, Yu added, without giving a time frame. Some 60 million of the 100 million shots that Sinopharm has distributed both in China and abroad have been administered, he said, adding no serious adverse reactions have been reported.

Leading Chinese government medical adviser Zhong Nanshan said this week that the country plans to vaccinate 40% of its 1.4 billion citizens -- 560 million people -- against the coronavirus by the end of June. More than 52 million doses had been administered as of Feb. 28, Zhong said.

While China’s success corralling the coronavirus has allowed it to take a more cautious approach to vaccination, the government has also faced widespread public hesitation toward inoculation, partly due to concern about the safety and level of protection promised by local shots.

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