China Lags Behind Western Countries In COVID-19 Vaccinations

(Feng Li - Pool/Getty Images)

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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China, Hong Kong, and most other Asian countries are lagging behind Western nations when it comes to vaccinating their populations, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

China and Hong Kong have vaccinated roughly 5 percent of their populations, with most other Asian countries hovering around 3 percent. Most major Western countries have vaccinated roughly 10 percent of their populations, and outliers like the U.S. and U.K. have vaccinated 25 percent and 41 percent, respectively. China had administered 83 million doses as of Tuesday, days after President Joe Biden celebrated administering 100 million doses in less than 60 days in office.

China found much success in containing the spread of COVID-19 by resorting to draconian lockdown measures most Western governments lack the authority to enforce. Its stringent border shutdown has also helped keep the spread of the disease relatively low, but there is no end to those lockdown measures in sight unless China reaches herd immunity with its population. (RELATED: Biden Announces 200M New Vaccine Doses, Rips Trump Admin Distribution Plan)

People wait to board shuttle buses to a COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine center in Beijing on January 5, 2021, as China raced to inoculate millions before the Chinese New Year Mass travel season in February. (Photo by Noel Celis / AFP) (Photo by NOEL CELIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The White House’s Dr. Anthony Fauci has estimated that COVID-19 requires roughly 70 to 85 percent of a given population to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. China, with its nearly 1.4 billion population, is barely off the starting block.

Beyond the sheer number of vaccines required, another problem for China is willingness to take the vaccine. In the U.S., some Americans are hesitant to take the vaccine over concerns it may have been rushed. Yet, 69 percent of Americans say they plan to get vaccinated. China faces a similar issue, but on a much greater scale. A survey conducted on 756 medical personnel in Zhejiang found that only 42 percent were willing to get vaccinated, according to the WSJ.

China is nevertheless ahead of some of its U.S.-allied neighbors, with Australia and Japan having vaccinated just 0.6 and 0.5 percent of their populations, respectively.