China to inoculate frontline workers first with Covid-19 vaccines – world news

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China will begin its Covid-19 inoculation programme by first vaccinating some key precedence groups, including those involved in medical remedy and disease keep watch over, inside the winter-spring period, before starting a mass roll out, the National Health Commission (NHC) said on Saturday.

The vaccination programme will also cover those who plan to work or study in counties and regions with medium or high risks of exposure to the virus, Cui Gang, an official with NHC’s disease keep watch over branch, told reporters.

This will help relieve the pressure on China in preventing and controlling imported Covid-19 cases, and lower the risks of domestic outbreaks of the epidemic, the official said.

In a two-step vaccination drive, the vaccines will be first provided to the precedence groups, including those busy in handling imported cold-chain products, and people working in sectors such as port inspection and quarantine, aviation, public transport, fresh market, medical remedy and disease keep watch over, said Cui.

There’s no word yet on the mass roll out of the vaccine programme and no announcement has been made approximately the government approval of quite a lot of vaccines under trial.

China has roped in more than a dozen countries, including Brazil, to conduct the last phase trials of its Covid-19 vaccines. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain have approved a vaccine developed by Chinese state-owned Sinopharm.

Chinese officials say the coronavirus has been in large part controlled in the country and herd immunity will also be built with gradual roll out of the vaccination programme covering most of its population.

The health officials said over a million people had been provided vaccines under emergency use provision. The officials, who took part in Saturday’s press briefing, said no major side effects were reported all through the trials.

China has been that specialize in developing five types of vaccines. In complete, 11 vaccine candidates are at different stages of testing at home and out of the country, Yang Sheng, Deputy Director of the National Medical Products Administration’s drug registration bureau told media earlier.

China has joined COVAX, an international vaccine alliance. The World Health Association (WHO) has said nine candidate vaccines, including two from China, are currently being evaluated for inclusion in the COVAX Facility.

COVAX is co-led by Gavi, an international vaccine alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the WHO. Its aim is to accelerate the development and manufacture of vaccine.

Zheng Zhongwei, head of China’s vaccine development task force, said China’s annual capacity to make Covid-19 vaccines was once expected to succeed in 610 million doses this year and one billion doses by 2021, according to official media reports here.

The novel coronavirus which originated from China’s Wuhan city final year has claimed 1.6 million lives and infected more than 75 million people globally.

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