China’s Covid-19 vaccine development programme is in a ‘leading position’ and Beijing is on track to produce over 600 million doses by the end of the year, officials said today. The AFP reports that health officials told reporters at a press conference today that China expects to produce 610 million vaccine doses by the end of this year, with annual production capacity to reach at least one billion doses next year. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of essential workers at ports, hospitals and other high-risk areas have already been given an experimental vaccine since July, officials said, claiming that the programme had also gained the support of the World Health Organisation (WHO).