Chinese CDC head denies saying ‘no hurry to get vaccinated’
Published: Aug 08, 2021 11:45 PM
Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention Photo:

Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention Photo:

 Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center of Disease Control (China CDC), refuted online claims that he had said there is no hurry to get vaccinated, which was in contrary to comments from China’s top epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan, who said that Chinese vaccines are safe and people should be inoculated as soon as possible. 

Gao told the Global Times on Sunday that the claim was distorted by a personal media account, as Chinese vaccines were in their research and development phase when Gao made the comment at the end of 2020. What Gao meant was there was no hurry at that time to get everyone vaccinated. 

“What I wanted to convey is that there are several requirements and procedures to meet and fulfill before vaccination, and the decision should be made based on science,” Gao said. “However, right now, China has approved several vaccines for conditional marketing or emergency use and completing vaccination is the top priority for realizing herd immunity.” 

The Global Times learned that the so-called evidence that the personal media account showed online was a video clip of Gao being interviewed by a media outlet on December 14, 2020. However, the clip was not a part of the exclusive interview that the media eventually published online. The clip the above-mentioned personal media account uploaded online had been deleted. 

The clip, which comes at a time when China is facing a resurgence of COVID-19 sporadic outbreaks across the country, is believed to be an attempt to attack Chinese vaccines. 

Gao has said publicly that Chinese vaccines are safe and should be administered to different groups of people step by step. 

"China has developed seven types of vaccines for clinical use. The recent outbreak in Guangzhou and data in other countries have proven that Chinese vaccines can effectively prevent severe illness and reduce death rate,” said Gao, calling on people to get vaccinated and build up herd immunity.

In November 2020, Phase-III clinical trials of the vaccine developed by Gao were successively launched in China and other countries such as Uzbekistan, Indonesia, Pakistan and Ecuador and progressed smoothly. 

In particular, the recombinant protein subunit vaccine was highly recognized by Uzbekistan, the first country to initiate the trial, where it was authorized for emergency use and became the first novel coronavirus recombinant protein subunit vaccine to receive international approval for clinical use. 

In March, the vaccine was approved for emergency use in China, with recipients receiving three doses spaced one month and six months apart.