China To Vaccinate 3-Year-Olds Amidst Rising COVID-19 Cases
The provinces of Hubei, Fujian, and Hainan have issued notices on provincial level calling for vaccinating children.
With about 76% of its population already covered, China is getting ready to vaccinate its children as well. Notices have been issued by local authorities in at least five provinces for children aged between 3 and 11 years to be administered the vaccine against COVID-19.
The provinces of Hubei, Fujian, and Hainan have issued notices on provincial level whereas in the provinces of Zhejiang and Hunan, individual city administrations have called for the vaccination of children.
Chinese government has been showing "zero tolerance to the surge in COVID-19 cases" and recently closed a few places to avoid tourists and the spread of the delta variant therein.
China is one of the few countries to administer vaccines to younger children. While countries like the United States have started vaccination for children aged 12 and above, Cuba is vaccinating children as early as two years of age.
While Sinopharm and Sinovac, the two vaccines approved by the government, have shown efficiency in preventing severity and transmission of the disease, and Sinopharm is already being given to children over 12 years of age, this is the first time the country is getting children as young as three years of age vaccinated.
The protection the vaccine offers against COVID-19 has been established, however, its efficiency against the delta variant has not been proved yet. In spite of countries like Cambodia's acceptance and use of the Chinese vaccines over those developed in the western countries and China having shipped more than 1.2 billion doses, parents in China are still apprehensive.
Wung Lu, a resident of Fuzhou city in the Fujian province told the Associated Press, "I’m just not very clear on the vaccine’s safety profile, so I don’t really want to get him [son] vaccinated, at the very least, I don’t want to be the first."
The two vaccines have been approved after going through two phases of trials each, results of which have been published in peer reviewed journals, the Associated Press reported.
(With inputs from Associated Press.)
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