China Sinovac says it reached two billion doses annual capacity for COVID-19 vaccine

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BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Sinovac Biotech said on Friday its third production plant for its COVID-19 vaccine was ready and had started manufacturing procedures for bulk vaccine ingredient, doubling its annual capacity to 2 billion doses.

A Sinovac spokesman said the third facility, in Beijing, had started cultivating cells where the coronavirus would be grown, a procedure that could take a relatively long time.

Sinovac did not say when it will actually produce 2 billion doses of the vaccine.

More than 200 million doses of Sinovac's vaccine named CoronaVac have been delivered globally, up from 160 million doses announced on March 22.

The firm said it estimated over 100 million doses have been administered worldwide.

(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Tony Munroe; Editing by Himani Sarkar)