China has administered more than one billion Covid-19 vaccine doses

China has administered more than one billion doses of its home grown COVID-19 vaccine in the country.

The announcement by the National Health Commission (NHC) comes after the number of shots administered globally surpassed 2.5 billion on Friday.

The NHC did not say how many people had been vaccinated. As elsewhere, most of the vaccines in China are given in two doses.

The pace of vaccinations has accelerated in the country of 1.4 billion people after a slow start. The total number of doses given doubled from 500 million in less than a month, according to government data.

A lack of transparency and previous vaccine scandals have also led to resistance among residents.

Authorities have set an ambitious target of fully vaccinating 40% of the country’s nearly 1.4 billion people by the end of this month.

Many provinces are offering incentives for people to get vaccinated. In the Anhui province residents have been given free eggs, while some living in Beijing have received shopping coupons.

A recent outbreak of the more contagious Delta variant of the virus in the southern city of Guangzhou has also served as a wake-up call for many dragging their feet. China reported 23 new coronavirus cases on Sunday.

The country has four conditionally approved vaccines, whose published efficacy rates remain behind rival jabs used by western powers.

China’s Sinovac previously said trials of its shot in Brazil showed around 50 percent efficacy in preventing infection and 80 percent in preventing cases requiring medical intervention.

Sinopharm’s two vaccines have efficacy rates of 79 percent and 72 percent respectively, while the overall efficacy for CanSino’s stands at 65 percent after 28 days.

China is expected to produce more than three billion vaccine doses this year, state news agency Xinhua reported in April.