Not everyone in China will need to be vaccinated against Covid-1
“Since the first wave of Covid-19 in Wuhan, China has experienced the effects of Covid-19 several times,” said Gao Fu, director of the China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at a vaccine summit. in Shenzhen on Saturday, according to the state news agency China News Service.
The issue of public vaccination is one of balancing the “risks and benefits”, he added, pointing to factors such as costs and potential side effects. There is currently no need for mass vaccination at this stage – although that could change if another serious outbreak occurs, Gao said.
The policy marks China, in addition to many Western governments, most notably Australia, which have outlined plans to launch mass public vaccination campaigns.
The number of viruses reported for China has remained low since the spring. There were several exacerbations – clusters in the northeastern province of Jilin in May, an outbreak in Beijing in June and another in the capital Xinjiang Urumqi in July – but they were met with immediate blockades and mass tests, and the outbreaks were contained within weeks.
Gao cites these brief outbreaks as evidence of effective measures to curb China. “The facts have shown that we have several magical weapons to respond to the epidemic,” he said, according to China News Service.
Instead, any potential vaccine will be prioritized for those on the front lines, he added: health workers, Chinese nationals working abroad in viral receivers, and people working in dense, high-risk environments such as restaurants, schools or cleaning services.
On Saturday, China’s National Health Commission registered only 10 new symptomatically confirmed cases, all imported from abroad. He also reported 70 new asymptomatic cases, which are counted separately, also all imported.
CNN contacted the NHC for further comment.
Global vaccine race
Despite Gao’s comments, China is one of the biggest players in the global race to develop a coronavirus vaccine.
China is the largest producer and consumer of vaccines in the world and can supply more than 1 billion doses of vaccine annually from 40 manufacturers across the country, according to the 2018-2022 Human Vaccine Industry Report.
Of the more than 30 vaccines currently being tested on humans worldwide, nine are from China – the most from each country. And four of the nine late-stage vaccine candidates are being developed by Chinese companies.
Just last week, the University of Hong Kong announced that clinical trials had been approved for a nasal spray vaccine developed in collaboration with researchers from mainland China.
China has already introduced some vaccines before their effectiveness is fully proven. In late June, the country approved an experimental vaccine for use by its military. And since July, China has been using a different experimental vaccine for people working in “high-risk” jobs as medical professionals and border agents. Neither vaccine has completed phase 3 trials.
Other countries may follow suit; the Indian Minister of Health said on Sunday that the government was considering granting an emergency permit to applicants for the Covid-19 vaccine before the end of the phase 3 trials.
Gao himself was injected with an experimental vaccine in July, in a move that “aimed to boost public confidence in the vaccines,” according to the state-run Global Times.
Experts have previously said that vaccination is key for countries like China, where the percentage of infected people in the population is relatively low due to strict restrictive measures.
“General immunity is very low. And so in these places, the way forward is definitely vaccinations,” said Ivan Hung, a specialist in infectious diseases at Hong Kong University School, in late August.
But Gao warned on Saturday that vaccine development is still under development, with risks of bad side effects.
“Since the Covid-19 vaccine has never been developed before, making this case the first in science, it is possible that it will cause ADE (antibody-dependent improvements) effects like any other we may face,” he said. Global Times.
ADE is when specific antibodies help the virus enter cells and replicate – mainly when treatment exacerbates the disease.
“Research is a very rigorous process, we need to give scientists a little more time,” he added.