China has shipped at least 260 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to at least 55 countries across the globe, in addition to providing 300,000 doses to UN peacekeeping forces, local media reported on Monday.
The country, where the first cases of the deadly infection were reported in December 2019, approved four vaccines for market rollover.
Three of the vaccines produced by the China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) and Sinovac Biotech have until now jointly distributed 260 million vaccine doses, the broadcaster CGTN said.
The shipments include both exports as well as vaccine donations.
Sinopharm has distributed about 100 million doses of two vaccines, while Sinovac has supplied 160 million doses.
In mainland China, at least 90 million doses have been administered to the people.
The fourth vaccine from CanSino Biologics Inc. was also approved in China for emergency use.
According to the Chinese daily Global Times, China’s current daily output of vaccines has increased to 5 million doses. It is equivalent to more than 1.8 billion doses a year.
“The cumulative supply of domestic vaccines currently exceeds 100 million doses,” Industry and Information Technology Minister Xiao Yaqing said last week.
The distribution of Chinese vaccines show most of the shipments were routed to Africa. The countries that received the vaccines include Belarus, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Bahrain, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Angola, Benin, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Zimbabwe.
China also shipped 300,000 doses of its vaccines to UN peacekeeping forces.
Since first reported in the central Wuhan city 15 months ago, the coronavirus has infected over 127 million people, resulting in 27.8 million deaths, with the US, India and Brazil the worst affected.
The World Health Organization ruled out any link between the deadly infection and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, China’s first biosafety level 4 laboratory.
The WHO and Chinese experts who toured Wuhan and other parts of China earlier this year are expected to release their final report soon.