COVID-19 vaccines rolled out to key groups

Hu Min
All you need to know about the vaccination program. 
Hu Min

Shanghai has started inoculating key groups with COVID-19 vaccines, local health authorities announced on Saturday.

Vaccines will be given first to priority groups with high potential infection risks such as inspection and quarantine customs staff engaged in handling imported cold-chain products, medical workers, those working at frontier ports exposed to overseas infection hazards, community workers, government officials, police, fire fighters, and people whose work is related to logistics, senior care, public sanitation, public utility, transportation, funeral and interment, and telecommunications, according to the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The vaccination program will also cover those who will work or study in countries and regions with medium or high risks of exposure to the virus.

The vaccination drive is in two steps, with an interval period of at least 14 days.

The inactivated virus vaccine curbs infection and replication of the COVID-19 virus, and it triggers human immune response activity.

The vaccine technique is reliable and mature, experts said.

The vaccines have undergone a number of tests on animals and humans, as well as clinical tests to prove its safety.

However, those who have fever or serious respiratory diseases, are allergic or pregnant, or have the history of COVID-19 virus infection,  should not take the vaccination at present, according to the center.

About 60 to 90 percent of people have been confirmed antibody positive within 14 to 28 days after being vaccinated with the first dose, and over 90 percent are antibody positive after 28 days of the second vaccination with continuous protection, the center said.

The vaccine has proved to be effective to virus strains in all countries as well as new strains of COVID-19, according to the center.

Although observation is still underway, the protection period of the vaccine is at least half a year.

To protect high-risk groups, China approved the emergency use of COVID-19 vaccines in June. More than one million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed for emergency inoculation use since July, said Zheng Zhongwei, an official with the National Health Commission, at a recent press conference, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Among those who received emergency vaccination in China, around 60,000 have gone to regions considered high-risk. No serious infection cases emerged from these.

Inactivated vaccines for emergency use include two inactivated vaccines developed by the China National Biotec Group, affiliated to Sinopharm, and one by Sinovac Biotech, Xinhua reported. They are all under international phase-III clinical trials.

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