Over 50M of Chinese to get COVID vaccine for Lunar New Year

13:19, 18 December 2020
Over 50M of Chinese to get COVID vaccine for Lunar New Year Photo: Wiktor Dabkowski/Global Look Press

China is ramping up to vaccinate 50 million people against the coronavirus before the start of the peak Lunar New Year travel season early next year, the South China Morning Post reports.

Beijing is planning to distribute 100 million doses of the two-dose inactivated vaccines made by Chinese firms Sinopharm and Sinovac.

The campaign was expected to start soon, but start dates could vary among provinces.

However, the officials were told that the first 50 million doses would have to be completed by January 15 and the second by February 5.

The mass campaign aims to reduce the risks of the disease’s spread during the annual week-long holiday, which starts on February 11.

Those classified as high priority are health workers, police officers, firefighters, customs officers, cargo handlers, transport and logistics workers, border control officials, nursing home staff, undertakers, sanitation workers, and utility workers.

They also include people who need to travel abroad for work or study.

Inoculations for the general public are not expected to start until after Lunar New Year.

The US has become the world’s biggest source of coronavirus, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying said in response to another mention of the ‘Chinese virus’ by US President Donald Trump, earlier reported.