CHINA / SOCIETY
China's top health authority rectify local mandatory vaccination orders, stressing voluntary principle
Published: Jul 17, 2021 03:11 PM
People receive COVID-19 vaccination at a temporary vaccination site in Jiangbei District of Chongqing, southwest China, April 8, 2021.Photo:Xinhua

People receive COVID-19 vaccination at a temporary vaccination site in Jiangbei District of Chongqing, southwest China, April 8, 2021.Photo:Xinhua


China's top health commission said they have noticed the local regulations issued by some cities that ban residents who haven't received COVID-19 vaccine shots from entering some key public venues, stressing that the commission has stepped in and made further guidance.

"Informed, consented and voluntary" are the basic principles for the inoculation program of COVID-19 vaccines, the center for disease control and prevention under the National Health Commission said. 

According to China's Law on the Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, people without contraindications who are within the acceptable age to receive the vaccine should be vaccinated as much as possible.

Recently, local governments of several cities have issued rules saying unvaccinated people will be prohibited from entering public venues such as hospitals and supermarkets. 

Several cities also said people need to be vaccinated to enter public venues such as hospitals, supermarkets, restaurants, entertainment venues,  government halls or to access public transport.

Some cities also stipulated that, to ensure campus safety, students and their family members should be vaccinated as soon as possible. Otherwise, the students will not be allowed back in school in September.

The regulations have sparked heated discussions online, with many saying that whether a person gets vaccinated should be a personal choice. Some experts have also said the related rules on children are suspected of violating educational laws. 

In the most controversial case, the government of Tanghe county, Central China's Henan Province, requested civil servants, including retired staff, to get vaccinated, except for those who are not suitable for inoculation, otherwise they won't be allowed to continue working or receiving salary.

The county government later responded said the regulation won't be implemented and has been scrapped.  

In April, China's top health authorities urged local authorities to halt mandatory vaccination orders as some cities were reportedly found to adopt compulsory measures to meet the country's goal of vaccinating 560 million people by June.

China is taking an approach of "getting the people who need it vaccinated and pushing forward vaccination in stages." The country has administered more than 1.4 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines, covering about half of its 1.4 billion people.
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