State Council's inter-agency task force briefing on COVID-19 vaccination for key groups

The State Council's inter-agency task force held a press conference in Beijing on Saturday to brief the media about issues regarding COVID-19 vaccination among key groups of the population. December 19, 2020


Mr. Zeng mentioned that China would prioritize high-risk groups for COVID-19 vaccination during this winter and the coming spring. Could you please clarify in detail who the high-risk groups are, and where they will be vaccinated: medial institutions or in their communities? Do they need to sign up personally or will it be organized by their company? In addition, can other people apply for vaccination if they wish to? Thank you.

Zeng Yixin:

I would like to invite Mr. Cui Gang to answer your questions.

Cui Gang:

Thank you. These questions are of great interest to many people. Just now, Mr. Zeng briefly introduced the main purpose of the vaccination and the current situation. The main strategy for inoculation in China is being coordinated with the present conditions and needs of the epidemic prevention and control work. On the whole, the epidemic situation in China is stable, and various prevention and control measures have been fully implemented. The epidemic prevention and control work is now focused on preventing imported cases and a domestic resurgence. Therefore, over the coming period, we plan to prioritize key groups for COVID-19 vaccination, including those engaged in cold-chain logistics, port inspection and quarantine and both domestic and international transportation. Their immunity after vaccination will create a barrier for other people in their daily living and work places and environment.

More specifically, China is following a two-step vaccination drive. The first step focuses on key groups of the population, including those engaged in handling cold-chain products, people working in exposed sectors such as port inspection and quarantine, ship pilotage, aviation, fresh markets, public transport, medical treatment and disease control, as well as people who plan to work or study in countries and regions with medium or high risks of exposure to the virus. We aim to alleviate the pressure on preventing imported cases, and reduce the risk of domestic cases and resurgence. The second step is to put more vaccines into use as they are approved to enter the market or the yield of vaccines has been improved steadily. We aim to inoculate the eligible population as widely as possible so as to gradually build an immune barrier to prevent the virus from spreading in the country.

Although we will start by prioritizing key groups for COVID-19 vaccination, there is no need for others who have not vaccinated to be worried. We have a series of effective measures in place to prevent and control the epidemic, such as effective personal protection, including wearing face masks in public places, practicing social distancing and washing hands. These steps have proven effective in the early stage of COVID-19 prevention and control as well as our long-term practice of disease prevention and control. Therefore, everyone must take protective measures.

As for the question on most people's minds - how and where to get vaccinated - local governments around the country are currently implementing various measures to provide convenient services for nationwide inoculation. Generally speaking, people will be able to receive vaccination at community health service centers, township health centers or general hospitals. Local governments have been required to publish information on vaccination services in a timely manner. We will also set up temporary vaccination sites to serve companies and institutions with large numbers of workers. The conditions for inoculation must be strictly standardized. At the same time, we will inform relevant individuals and institutions when and where they can get vaccinated, and make advance appointments. In addition, people can also consult local health administration departments or disease prevention and control agencies, and check relevant information platforms.

We would like to remind everyone to follow arrangements and warnings of local authorities when getting vaccinated. For example, people should make sure to take their ID card and provide personal information when getting vaccinated, so that each person can be recorded and traced if necessary. In addition, people should make sure to protect themselves when getting vaccinated, such as wearing a face mask and presenting their heath code at the hospital. At the same time, people must provide details of their health status before inoculation as per the requirements of doctors and nurses, including whether they have any drug allergies or if they have had a fever, so as to help medical workers provide targeted medical advice and address any relevant matters that need attention. People should remain at the vaccination site for at least 30 minutes after vaccination for observation, and will be provided with a certificate of COVID-19 vaccination. That's all, thank you.

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