China will not need a sweeping coronavirus vaccination programme because the pathogen is effectively under control in the country – at least for now, according to China’s disease prevention chief.
Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said on Sunday that large-scale vaccination for Covid-19 would only be needed if there was a major outbreak, like the one in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in February, China News Service reported.
“This is an issue of balancing risk and return,” Gao was quoted as saying
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He said it would be a waste to vaccinate everyone when the coronavirus had largely been wiped out within China’s borders.
China reported 10 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, all of which were imported.
The CDC chief said the first batch of vaccines should be given to frontline medical and epidemic prevention workers, followed by security, cleaning and catering staff and civil servants working in crowded places.
But if there was another big outbreak like the one in Wuhan, then there should be “large-scale vaccination of residents”, he said.
About 200 groups of medical researchers around the world are working on a vaccine for Covid-19. Developers in China are pursuing four types of technologies – inactivated, virus-vectored, mRNA and recombinant protein.
Several developers in the country are preparing for mass production despite the vaccine candidates still undergoing clinical trials.
China said last week that it had already inoculated hundreds of thousands of people under “emergency use authorisation” granted to three vaccine candidates after they completed phases 1 and 2 of trials, and said there had been no adverse effects so far.
In July, Gao was injected with one of the candidates to boost public confidence in the research.
And while the epidemic has waned, the coronavirus has not been completely stamped out in China.
A suspected Covid-19 patient prompted a Chinese city on the border with Myanmar to lock down a residential compound on Saturday, according to the Global Times.
The report said residents in the Aoxing Shiji area in Ruili, in the southwestern province of Yunnan, had been ordered to stay home to prevent the spread of the disease.
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This article Coronavirus: not everyone in China will need vaccine, CDC chief says first appeared on South China Morning Post