Chinese legislator suggests national standard on vaccine storage, public information
Published: Mar 03, 2021 10:48 PM
A construction worker for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games venues receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday in the capital city. Beijing has vaccinated more than 5 million residents and 2.64 million have received two doses. Photo: cnsphoto

A construction worker for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games venues receives a COVID-19 vaccine on March 2, 2021 in the capital city. Photo: cnsphoto

A Chinese legislator suggested the country establish a national standard for vaccine storage and transportation and a system of vaccine reservation and public information as the quality and security of vaccines have come under the public spotlight in the wake of the COVID-19 health crisis. 

China began to implement the Vaccine Management Law in December 2019. The law is the first special legislation in the field of vaccine management and also known as the strictest and most comprehensive vaccine legislation in history, reflecting the progress in vaccine legislation in China.

Security for vaccines is of great concern after the country began to roll out the COVID-19 vaccination, especially after a door knob at a hospital in Suzhou of East China's Jiangsu Province returned a positive result for COVID-19 when sampled for nucleic acid testing that raised concerns over environment contamination by COVID-19 vaccines and infection risks among humans it might possibly cause.

Zhou Yunjie, president of Haier and a deputy to the National People's Congress, told the Global Times that he will submit a proposal related to vaccine management to this year's two sessions. 

Vaccines are sensitive to temperature, so cold-chain management of vaccines in storage and transport is critical. However, China has not yet issued a national technical specification for storage and transportation of vaccines, Zhou said. 

He suggested that the country could set up a national unified technical standard for vaccine storage and transportation. Under the standard, information on storage, in-out warehouse, inventory query, and cold-chain management should be recorded on an online system, and the system can also sound an alarm when the temperature malfunctions. 

The system also could record the existing immune planning information, trace the whereabouts of every vaccine and report information of inventory and cold-chain to disease control and prevention authorities in real time, putting an end to expired or problematic vaccines. 

In remote areas, vaccination services are not convenient and the right to immunization is not guaranteed, he pointed out. 

"People living in remote mountainous areas, pastoral areas with inconvenient transportation and a relatively backward economy still lack an awareness of vaccination, face shortage of vaccine types or quantities, and economic burden of vaccination," he said. 

Zhou suggests establishing a national vaccination reservation system, as the public can only inquire one by one about the clinics that offer vaccinations in their cities as well as their inventory and waiting time.

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