China will only need mass vaccination in medium to long term: medical expert

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/13 13:18:40

A medical worker collects a sample from a person for nucleic acid testing in Shufu County of Kashgar Prefecture, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Oct. 26, 2020. Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region identified 26 new asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 between 4 p.m. Sunday and 4 p.m. Monday, a local health official said at a press conference on Monday. All the new cases were reported in Shufu County, south Xinjiang's Kashgar Prefecture. (Xinhua/Hu Huhu)


China is under little pressure to take mass vaccination of Chinese residents against COVID-19 in the foreseeable future, as the nation has brought the disease largely under control, but in the medium to long term, there exists a need to inoculate the residents, Zhang Wenhong, Shanghai-based infectious disease expert and leader of the Shanghai COVID-19 control group, said on Saturday. 

As mass vaccination plans are being set in motion in the US and Europe, Zhang concluded simulation researches by his team prove that China still has a window of six months to one year to gradually build up its population's immunity against the virus through vaccination. 

According to the research, even though the vaccines are gradually being popularized, it will take at least six months to one year for the US, the country with the largest vaccine resources in the world, to completely control the outbreak, whereas China's eventual control over COVID-19 will be determined by global effective control of the disease.

"Thus, before the implementation of universal vaccination in China, strengthening the fight against the virus and precise prevention and control remain to be our current options," Zhang said in a Sina Weibo posting. 

Zhang said he believes that China already has worked out its own vaccination agenda, and will also lead the way for global inoculations.

In addition, Zhang noted that China will fulfill its obligations as a major economic power and help those countries without vaccine production abilities to gradually build up their herd immunity through Chinese-made vaccines.


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