China is aiming to have at least 90% of its over-80 population and those aged 60-79 years old fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible, the National Health Commission reports.
Vaccinating the elderly has been regarded as a vital step toward the country opening up, but the number of people over 60 who have been fully inoculated remains lower than younger age groups.
Currently, only 69% of those aged over 60 and just 40% of those aged 80 and above are fully vaccinated and have a booster shot, according to official figures.
China’s National Health Commission has reported a rise (albeit a slow one) in the number of booster shots administered to people aged 60 years old and above over the last six months.
Since March 2022, the number of people aged between 60-79 years old who have received a booster shot has risen from 52.4% to 68.8%.
Official government sources have not specified by what time they want to reach the 90% figure. The National Health Commission states that those who are fully vaccinated now have to wait only three months before they can receive a booster shot; individuals previously had to wait at least six months for a booster shot.
How the country plans to encourage such a large portion of the population to get vaccinated has not yet been announced, but previously incentives have been offered, including money and food.
An official announcement from the National Health Commission says that local governments will be responsible for the mass vaccination campaign.
See the official announcement below (Chinese).
On November 11, 2022, China adapted many of its epidemic prevention and control policies and at the same announced an “accelerated vaccine rollout.”
These claims were further reiterated by the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council in a press conference on Tuesday, November 29.
Lan Ke, the director of a Chinese research team recently told Global Times that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is less likely to cause serious damage to people. Vaccinations and booster shots will only decrease the likeliness of serious illness.
China currently has a range of different vaccinations available, including the world’s first inhaled vaccine, which was first administered in Shanghai.
[Cover image via Weibo]