CAPE TOWN – China’s national coronavirus inoculation programme is going full steam ahead in preparation for the Chinese New Year in mid-February.
China has vaccinated more than 15 million people against Covid-19.
In a statement on the National Health Commission’s (NHC) website, official Wang Bin said that once the key population groups – including medical personnel, transportation workers and border patrols – have been vaccinated, China will move forward with mass vaccination of the public.
“To ensure the vaccination programme progresses smoothly, the country’s health authorities have sent groups of medical experts to help regional authorities develop practical vaccination plans,” said Wang.
“In addition, the vaccination procedures have been strictly standardised and full precautions are taken,” he said.
China has produced two vaccines from Sinopharm and Sinovac, respectively.
Despite new variants of the virus emerging, vice-president and chief scientist of Sinopharm’s subsidiary China National Biotec Group (CNBG), Zhang Yuntao, said that the vaccines can protect people from all variants.
“We have observed variants in the UK, South Africa and Nigeria and have launched experiments to test the effect of the vaccines on these variants in labs,” Zhang said at a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday.
The country has seen sporadic outbreaks in its northern regions, which has led to the reintroduction of strict lockdown regulations.
As of January 22, the Chinese mainland reported 103 new confirmed cases, taking their total to 88,701, with 82,468 recoveries and 4,635 deaths.
The city of Shijiazhuang, in the Hebei Province, has constructed an isolation facility that will hold a total of 4,160 housing units for those who require quarantine.