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China says it has vaccinated 1 billion people

Number represents about 72% of the country’s 1.4 billion people
A woman wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus is silhouetted as she walks by a TV screen showing CCTV reporting number of COVID-19 cases in China, at a shopping mall in Beijing, Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Chinese health officials announced Thursday that more than 1 billion people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the world’s most populous country, or about 72% of its 1.4 billion people.

Through Wednesday, 2.16 billion vaccine doses had been administered and 1.01 billion people had been fully vaccinated, National Health Commission spokesperson Mi Feng said at a news conference.

The announcement came as China battles a new outbreak of the delta variant in the southeastern province of Fujian, where 200 cases have been confirmed in the past six days.

Authorities have locked down affected neighborhoods, closed schools and entertainment venues and restricted travel out of Fujian in an effort to keep the virus from spreading.

China has largely stopped the spread of the coronavirus by imposing restrictions and mass testing whenever new cases are found. It also limits entry to the country and requires people who arrive to quarantine in a hotel for at least two weeks.

—The Associated Press