Tue, 11 May 2021

© Provided by Xinhua

BEIJING, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Wearing masks and protective gear, technicians were moving back and forth on a vaccine production line inside a 24-hour manufacturing plant of Sinopharm in Beijing.

The Chinese pharmaceutical giant said its daily output of COVID-19 vaccines had reached about 3 million doses and would be further expanded to meet the growing demand of China and other countries.

Another Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech is also racing to pump out more doses, saying that the third production plant for its COVID-19 vaccine has started manufacturing procedures for vaccine ingredients, doubling the company's annual capacity to 2 billion doses.

The remarkable progress made in vaccine production has accelerated China's COVID-19 vaccination efforts, with more than 149 million doses administered across the country as of Wednesday.

Vaccination is the most effective means of preventing and controlling COVID-19, and it is currently China's top COVID-19 prevention and control strategy. A number of creative, considerate and non-coercive approaches have ensured that vaccination in the country is both easy and efficient.

Photos of people lining up and getting vaccinated across Ruili City in southwest China's Yunnan Province soon made headlines. Dozens of locally transmitted COVID-19 cases have been reported in the border city since March 30.

A Shenzhen hospital drew media coverage by providing people waiting to get shots with free tea, milk and bread. It also set up women-only vaccination sites and "green channels" for those with children to help them quickly complete vaccination.

Beijing and Shanghai have deployed mobile vaccination vehicles in downtown areas. The bus-like facilities, equipped with vaccination stations, medical refrigerators and first-aid equipment, have been rolled out to save time and improve inoculation efficiency.

Posters of catchy and amusing slogans about vaccination -- adapted from the lyrics of pop music or created based on internet buzzwords -- have appeared in city streets and are sweeping social media.

Choices made by the public will be crucial in achieving herd immunity. According to the latest World Economic Forum-Ipsos survey on global vaccine confidence, vaccination intent is highest in China, where 80 percent of respondents agreed with the statement "if a vaccine for COVID-19 were available, I would get it."

Du Qiusheng, a blind masseur who lives in Beijing, got his first jab last week at a vaccination site. "I serve many clients every day, which presents a high risk of being infected," he said, adding that the COVID-19 vaccine is necessary for him.

The nationwide vaccination campaign also involves the popularization of vaccine science, as many do not feel an urgent need to get vaccinated or have misgivings over possible side effects. Health experts are sparing no efforts to provide clear information for those who remain skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccines.

Wang Huaqing, an expert from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said women who are hoping to become pregnant in the near future can safely get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccines are also safe for those with allergies to substances such as pollen and antibiotics.

"The current COVID-19 vaccines do not contain antibiotics and therefore this is not a contraindication," said An Zhijie, a Chinese CDC official.

"The more people are vaccinated, the more people have immunity, and the spread of the virus in the population can be effectively controlled," Li Bin, deputy head of the National Health Commission, said at a press conference in March.

Gao Fu, the head of the Chinese CDC, said during a recent interview with state media that China aims to vaccinate 70 percent to 80 percent of its population between the end of this year and the middle of next year.

"China should take the lead in achieving herd immunity to contribute to the global battle against COVID-19," he said.

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