China announced that its leaders, including President Xi Jinping, have injected a domestically produced Covid-19 vaccine.
“All Chinese party and state leaders have been vaccinated with locally produced Covid-19 vaccines,” said Zeng Yibin, deputy head of China’s National Health Commission (NHC), over the weekend. in a campaign calling for increased vaccinations, especially booster shots.
The term “party and state leaders” is used by China to refer to the highest-ranking officials in the government, including President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.
“It shows that leaders attach great importance to disease prevention and have a high level of confidence in domestic vaccines,” said Mr. Tang.
He did not specify when the leaders received the vaccine or how many shots were given. His comments come about two years after China rolled out the Covid-19 vaccination.
The announcement by the NHC official comes as China is working to increase vaccination rates for the elderly. The campaign to vaccinate the elderly in this country has been slow due to rumors about side effects of domestic vaccines being spread on social networks.
The country has achieved a vaccination rate of 89.7% and booster vaccination for about 56% of the 1.41 billion population, but only 61% of people over 80 years of age have completed the primary vaccination.
“The Covid-19 vaccine does not cause leukemia or diabetes, nor does it affect genetic development or cause tumor metastasis, which is misinformation, irresponsible on the Internet,” the expert on Chinese infectious disease Wang Fusheng said in a press conference.
According to Wang, hospitalization rates for diabetes and leukemia in China were almost unchanged between 2018 and 2022.
The most used Chinese domestic vaccines are manufactured by Sinovac and Sinopharm. The country has yet to approve foreign-made Covid-19 vaccines.
Experts and officials warn lower vaccination rates among the elderly could drain medical resources if the virus spreads widely and make it difficult for China to abandon its strict “No Covid” policy.
NHC said China recorded 982 new Covid-19 cases on July 23, up from 817 cases a day earlier. The majority of infections were recorded in Gansu and Guangxi provinces.
Huyen Le (Theo Guardian)