China to vaccinate 50 million people by February
By Shifaan Ryklief 19m ago
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CAPE TOWN – Since the approval of its first home-grown coronavirus vaccine, China is in full swing to vaccinate 50 million people ahead of the Lunar New Year festivities.
As part of the national inoculation programme, the state-owned manufacturer Sinopharm’s vaccine will be rolled out to front-line workers within the health-care sector, delivery workers, public servants and people whose jobs require international travel.
“The vaccination site started operation on January 1 and about 1,500 people were vaccinated in the first two days of this year,” said Zhang Yu, director of the Urban Management Office of Chaoyang District.
Sinopharm’s vaccine, which has a 79.3% efficacy rate, was approved on Wednesday, December 30, and will be free for all recipients within the inoculation programme and thereafter for general public use.
The Lunar New Year celebrations, which take place from February 11 to 17, are also known as the world’s largest annual gathering. Last year, around 1.5 billion trips were made during this period.
Chinese authorities are under pressure to ensure safe holiday travel as, for many many who work abroad, the Lunar New Year is a time when they reunite with their families.
Sinopharm has come under criticism for releasing minimal information about its phase 3 clinical trials, while countries such as Egypt and Pakistan have said they will purchase it for emergency use.