The country, along with Cuba, is also among the first to begin vaccinating young children. At least five out of 23 provinces have started administering shots to children aged three to 11.
China plans on hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics from February 4–20, 2022, in Beijing and the surrounding Hebei.
China is not allowing foreign spectators to attend the event.
The International Olympic Committee is also requiring that athletes, team staff and journalists who travel to Beijing for the Olympics be fully vaccinated or face a 21-day quarantine. In addition, attendees will also undergo mandatory daily PCR testing.
China has authorized vaccines from Sinopharm (HKG:1099) and Sinovac for children as young as three, but, to date, it has only vaccinated children 12 and up until recently.
In the West, the U.S. and several countries in Europe have authorized COVID-19 vaccines for children as young as 12.
The U.S. could potentially authorize vaccines for children aged five to 11 soon.
In September, China announced that it would begin studying whether to lower the eligible age for vaccination.