Response to protests: China wants to vaccinate older population faster

More vaccination is China's answer to the protests against the strict corona rules.

Response to protests: China wants to vaccinate older population faster

More vaccination is China's answer to the protests against the strict corona rules. Older people in particular should get their injections faster. Meanwhile, the disease control authority is trying to downplay the expressions of displeasure.

After the weekend protests, the Chinese government is increasing the pace of corona vaccinations. The National Health Commission said that efforts to immunize those over 80 would be stepped up. At the same time, the interval between the basic and the booster vaccination is reduced to three months. According to official figures, 86.4 percent of those over 60 had been vaccinated at least twice in November. The rate of the boosters was 68.2 percent. This is an increase of less than one percentage point each compared to August. Overall, only 65.8 percent of people over 80 in China are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

A Chinese preparation is mainly used as a vaccine - mRNA preparations such as those from Biontech or Moderna are not available to the general public. The low vaccination rate is often cited as the reason for the country's strict zero-Covid policy, with even low infection numbers leading to lockdowns and mass testing. The number of infections has recently risen rapidly - 38,421 new infections were registered on Tuesday. Although this is small in relation to the population of 1.4 billion, it is still the highest level since the pandemic began.

At the same time, anger is growing among the population at the strict zero-Covid policy. It has erupted in nationwide protests in recent days. The trigger was a fire that killed several people in Urumqi in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region. In Shanghai, demonstrators even called for the resignation of President Xi Jinping. The regime responded with increased police presence to quell the protests.

The disease control agency tried to downplay the protests. They have opposed an overzealous and poorly targeted implementation of the pandemic restrictions, said Cheng Youquan, an official. The measures themselves would not be questioned. The government in Beijing wants to get the corona virus under control with a strict "zero Covid policy". It includes, among other things, curfews. These are also affecting the economy of the world's second largest economy. In the past few weeks there had been repeated speculation that this rigid course would be abandoned.

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