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A staff member tests samples of the Covid-19 inactivated vaccine at a China National Pharmaceutical Group plant in Beijing, on April 11, 2020.   Zhang Yuwei/Xinhua/Getty

China has drastically scaled up its emergency use program in recent weeks, officials revealed Thursday as they announced the approval of the country’s first homegrown coronavirus vaccine, developed by Sinopharm.

Since December 15, the country has administered more than 3 million doses of coronavirus vaccines on “key groups” in the population, Zeng Yixin, vice-minister of China’s National Health Commission, said at a news conference Thursday. He did not identify who those groups were.

That’s on top of the more than 1.5 million doses of coronavirus vaccines administered to “high-risk groups” as of the end of November, Zeng added.

Among those who have been inoculated, fewer than 0.1% developed a light fever, and about two people per million developed “relative serious adverse reactions” such as allergies, according to Zeng.

China rolled out its controversial emergency use program in July, inoculating hundreds of thousands of people with experimental vaccines that did not have their safety and efficacy proven in clinical trials. People who received the vaccines include healthcare workers, border control personnel and state-owned company employees who needed to travel overseas.

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