Shanghai is to accelerate its COVID-19 vaccination program and the mass inoculation of senior residents and patients with underlying diseases will begin when clinical tests obtain enough safe and effective data, city health authorities announced on Tuesday.
The vaccination process is rolling out in the city and groups at high risk due to their profession, people with potential overseas infection hazards, and personnel at posts crucial to maintain society’s normal operations are being given priority in the first half of this year.
The list includes inspection and quarantine customs staff engaged in handling imported cold-chain products, baggage workers at ports, staff involved in international and domestic transport, those who will work or study overseas, those working at frontier ports exposed to overseas infection hazards, medical workers, government officials, police, firefighters, community workers and people whose work is related to logistics, senior care, public sanitation, public utilities, transport, funerals and interment and telecommunications, the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention said earlier.
At the current stage, those being vaccinated should be aged between 18 and 59.
In the next stage, the elderly and people with underlying diseases will be vaccinated depending on the research and development progress of vaccines and under circumstances where clinical tests prove their safety and effectiveness.
Vaccinations are given in two steps, with an interval of at least 14 days.
The vaccines curb infection and replication of the COVID-19 virus, and trigger an immune response. They have undergone a number of tests on animals and humans, as well as clinical tests to prove their safety.
However, anyone with a fever or acute disease, serious chronic disease, in the acute stage of a chronic disease, who may be allergic, are pregnant or nursing infants, or have had a serious allergic reaction to vaccines in the past, should not take the vaccination at present, according to the center.
Patients with uncontrollable epilepsy or nervous system diseases, or a history of guillain-barre syndrome, should also delay having an inoculation.
Although observation is still underway, the protection period of the vaccine is at least six months.
Common reactions after vaccination include a sore or itchy arm, and a few people may have symptoms such as fever, fatigue, nausea, headache and muscle pain, according to the center.
People who are eligible are recommended to take the COVID-19 vaccination and should register and reserve a spot as early as possible.
They should take their identity card to the vaccination site and stay for around 30 minutes afterward for observation.
They should avoid alcohol, spicy food or seafood for a week after vaccination.
Vaccination is free.
China aims to vaccinate 70-80 percent of its population by the middle of next year, according to Xinhua news agency, citing the head of the country’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
With four approved vaccines, China will vaccinate 900 million to 1 billion people, according to the report.
China had administered 52.5 million vaccine doses by the end of February. It has approved four domestically made vaccines: two from state-owned Sinopharm, one from Sinovac and another from CanSino, Xinhua reported.