Over 600 mln people in China given COVID-19 shots - official

Doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are seen at the Biblioteka kod Milutina restaurant in Kragujevac, Serbia, May 4, 2021. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

BEIJING, June 11 (Reuters) - More than 600 million people in China have been vaccinated against COVID-19, a health official said on Friday, as the country forges ahead to meet a goal of inoculating 40% of its 1.4 billion population by the end of June.

As of Thursday, 845 million doses have been administered, covering 622 million people, Cui Gang, an official at the National Health Commission (NHC), said at a media briefing.

Cui didn't specify how many people were fully inoculated.

In China's COVID-19 vaccination, out of seven shots, five require two doses, one requires a single dose, and one needs three injections.

A COVID-19 vaccine from a Sinopharm unit, Beijing Institute of Biological Products, has obtained approval to be used on people aged between three and 17 in China, Shao Yiming, a researcher at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said during the briefing.

Another candidate being developed by Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise (603392.SS) and researchers from the University of Hong Kong and Xiamen University is applying for overseas late-stage clinical trials, Shao also said.

By the end of 2021, China is expected to vaccinate at least 70% of "target groups", Zeng Yixin, deputy director at NHC, told the official Xinhua news agency earlier this month, without giving details.

Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Edmund Blair

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