BEIJING, June 3 (Xinhua) -- More than 704.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered across China as of Wednesday, the National Health Commission (NHC) said Thursday.
The number of doses administered has continued to rise at an ever-faster rate since China hit the landmark figure of 100 million on March 27.
China took just 25 days to hit the next milestone of administering 200 million doses nationwide. It only took five days to increase vaccine distribution from 600 million doses to 700 million.
A total of 20 vaccines have entered clinical trials in China since last year, according to Zheng Zhongwei, an official with the NHC. "China has been taking the lead in terms of the number of vaccines that are being developed."
While quickening domestic vaccination and vaccine research and development, China has honored its solemn commitment to making COVID-19 vaccines a "global public good," despite its own huge population and supply shortage at home.
So far, it has provided more than 350 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the international community, including vaccine assistance to more than 80 developing countries and exporting vaccines to more than 40 nations, which has made a significant contribution to the accessibility and affordability of vaccines.
On Tuesday, the CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine, developed by Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech, was validated for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Sinovac vaccine is the second one from China to be included in the WHO Emergency Use Listing, following the Sinopharm vaccine, which was validated earlier last month.
The validation provides solid proof that the Chinese vaccines are both safe and efficacious, while further contributing to bridging the "immunization gap" generated by the inequity in vaccine distribution.
At the Global Health Summit in late May, China promised more practical action to combat the pandemic across the world.
The country reiterated its support for Chinese vaccine companies in transferring technologies to other developing countries and carrying out joint production with them.
China has also announced support for waiving intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines, and it supports the World Trade Organization and other international institutions in making an early decision on this matter.
China has also proposed an international forum on vaccine cooperation to explore ways of promoting the fair and equitable distribution of vaccines around the world.
"With the production capacity of COVID-19 vaccines expected to increase in the second half of this year, Chinese vaccine enterprises and Chinese vaccines will definitely contribute more to the building of a global community of health for all," Zheng said. Enditem