TAIPEI, Taiwan — After a slow start, China is administering shots at a staggering pace.
In just five days last month, China gave out 100 million shots of its COVID-19 vaccines. The rollout is far from perfect, including uneven distribution, but Chinese public health leaders still hope to inoculate 80% of the population of 1.4 billion by the end of the year.
So far, China had given out more than 680 million doses. That’s about one third of the 1.9 billion shots distributed globally. The call to get vaccinated comes from every corner of society. That pressure underscores both the system’s strength and the risks to civil liberties.
In the capital of Beijing, 87% of the population has received at least one dose. Getting a shot is as easy as walking into one of hundreds of vaccination spots found across the city. Vaccination buses are parked in high foot-traffic areas, including in the city center and at malls.
But Beijing’s abundance is not shared with the rest of the country. There are reports of difficulty getting an appointment elsewhere.