China’s COVID-19 vaccination tops 9 million

A citizen is vaccinated at a vaccination site in Zhongguancun, Haidian district of Beijing, Jan. 8, 2021. (Photo by Guo Junfeng/People's Daily Online)

China has administered more than 9 million doses of self-developed COVID-19 vaccines since Dec. 15 last year, including the previous 1.6 million doses targeting groups with high risks of infection, according to a press conference on Jan. 9.

China has built relatively complete standards for setting up vaccination sites, and ensured strict vaccinator training, vaccine recipient screening, adverse reaction monitoring, emergency treatment, and expert consultations on adverse reactions, said Zeng Yixin, deputy head of the National Health Commission (NHC) and a member of the working group for vaccine development under the State Council joint prevention and control mechanism against COVID-19.

Wang Huaqing, an expert from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, introduced that relevant requirements have been set up for vaccination, and the injections have all been performed according to these requirements. All possible adverse reactions are explained to the receivers before they agree to be injected, Wang added.

Security is attached with extremely importance during the vaccination, and each vaccination site is equipped with medical staffs from polyclinics above level II, as well as first-aid equipment and drugs, to ensure emergencies are recognized and dealt with at the first opportunity, said Cui Gang, an official with NHC’s disease control department.

The 9 million shots further proved the safety of Chinese COVID-19 vaccines, Zeng remarked, adding that the vaccination would be administered to key groups, high-risk groups, and the general population as the vaccine’s production capacity increases. All Chinese citizens that meet vaccination requirements shall be injected, so as to build a wall that prevents the spread of the virus, he said.

COVID-19 vaccinations costs, including vaccine expenses and inoculation fees, would be covered by medical insurance funds and government fiscal, rather than individuals, said Li Tao, deputy director of the National Healthcare Security Administration.

Only when a large portion of the population are vaccinated can an immune barrier be built, so special measures must be taken to cover the cost of the vaccination, he explained.

He also noted that the administration’s disbursement on COVID-19 vaccines would not affect the current revenue and expenditure of medical insurance funds or residents’ medical treatment.

Free vaccination for all residents will help build the immune barrier, safeguard life and production orders, and protect the healthy development of the economy and society, and thus further promotes the long-term and sustainable operation of medical insurance funds.

The pricing of COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t run counter to free vaccination, said Zheng Zhongwei, head of the working group for vaccine development under the State Council joint prevention and control mechanism against COVID-19. As a public product, the vaccine will be priced according to its cost, and relevant government departments will also purchase the products from enterprises in accordance with corresponding procedure and price before administering them to the public for free.

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