China says that entire population does not need COVID-19 vaccine

The nation’s top medical official said this weekend that coronovirus vaccines are not yet required to be given to everyone in China – only front-line workers and high-risk populations.

Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, made the statement on Saturday at a vaccine summit in Shenzhen city – pointing to growing confidence among policy-makers of his ability to keep the virus at bay, the government news agency China News Service.

According to China’s news agency China News Service, “China has already survived the effects of COVID-19 several times since the first wave of COVID-19 in Wuhan.”

Gao pointed to the “risks and benefits” of mass vaccination, such as costs and potential side effects. That could change, he said, if the country sees a more serious outbreak.

He said that any potential vaccine would be preferred for medical personnel, people working in high-risk environments such as schools, restaurants or cleaning services, and Chinese citizens working abroad in COVID-19 hotspots.

CNN reported that the move sets China apart from many Western governments – where plans are to launch a massive public vaccination campaign.

For the most part, China’s reported virus numbers have remained low since spring – although northeast Jilin Province saw a flare-up in May, Beijing experienced an outbreak in June, and the northwestern region of Xinjiang Urumqi, the provisional capital, saw a cluster in July.

Gao claimed that the outbreaks pointed to China’s successful control measures.

According to the China News Service, “facts have proved that we have many magical weapons to respond to the epidemic.”

CNN said China’s National Health Commission confirmed only 10 new disease-related cases – all imported from overseas.

It also lengthens 70 new asymptomatic cases, also imported, which are counted separately according to the network.

CNN reported that more than 30 COVID-19 vaccines are currently involved in human trials worldwide, of which nine are from China.

Chinese companies are now behind four out of nine vaccine candidates in late-stage trials.

The University of Hong Kong announced last week that clinical trials had been approved for a nasal spray vaccine developed in collaboration with researchers on the mainland.