2021-07-19 08:55


Mass Vaccination FAQ, 33 New Cases Reported, Teenagers Vaccine!

Source: China Daily

China on Saturday reported one new locally transmitted COVID-19 case in Yunnan, the National Health Commission said in its daily report on Sunday.

Also reported were 32 new imported cases, of which 11 were reported in Yunnan, four each in Beijing, Fujian and Guangdong, three in Sichuan, two in Shaanxi, and one each in Inner Mongolia, Shanghai, Jiangsu and Hubei.

No new suspected cases or new deaths related to COVID-19 were reported Saturday.

Southwest China's Yunnan province reported one new locally transmitted COVID-19 case and 11 imported confirmed cases on Saturday, the provincial health commission said Sunday.

The local case was identified in the mass nucleic acid testing in Longchuan county under Dehong Dai and Jingpo autonomous prefecture that borders Myanmar.

All of the imported cases were from Myanmar between July 14 and July 16. They tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday while under quarantine.

Mass Vaccines Now Opening to Teenagers

A number of provinces, regions and municipalities across China have announced they will phase in COVID-19 vaccination for minors aged between 12 and 17.

Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province plans to administer vaccines to middle and high school students between the ages of 12 and 17 from July, according to the provincial center for disease control and prevention.

Before vaccination, a minor's legal guardian will be provided with all relevant information to ensure his or her child is informed, consenting and voluntarily vaccinated. The guardian should remain with their child during vaccination, said the center.

Heilongjiang is expected to carry out mass vaccination for minors in stages and by age, from senior students to those in junior grades. The province's initial plan is to complete the two-dose process in September.

South China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region will first vaccinate teens aged between 15 and 17 in July, and start vaccinating those aged 12 to 14 in August. The region's 12-17 age group is expected to complete vaccinations by the end of October this year, said the region's health authorities on Tuesday.

Most students from primary, junior high and senior high schools, secondary vocational schools and technical schools are included in the targeted age groups. Parents or guardians are required to read consent forms thoroughly and sign their informed consent before vaccination, and accompany their children on-site while they are being vaccinated.

Consultation hotlines will be opened to answer questions related to vaccination. Minors aged between 12 and 17 and senior citizens over 60 will be the region's focus in its vaccination strategy in the second half of this year, said the region's health commission.

The city of Jingzhou in Central China's Hubei province will focus on vaccinating minors aged between 12 and 17 and people over 60 from August, according to the city's health authorities.

Guangzhou, the capital of South China's Guangdong province, will research and draw up vaccination plans for the city's residents aged 12 to 17, said the city's health commission on Friday.

Zheng Huizhen, the chief expert of disease control at the Guangdong Preventive Medicine Association, said that as China builds its immunity barrier, its order of inoculation starts with adults of working age, then moves to senior citizens, and finally to minors.

"Though children and adolescents present with mild or asymptomatic clinical manifestations of the novel coronavirus, there still remains a risk of severe development among minors compared with adults. Children and adolescents could play an important role in the spread of the virus in communities, so it is important to conduct research into the safety and efficacy of vaccines among the young population," said Gao Qiang, general manager of Sinovac Life Sciences Co Ltd.

China's mass vaccination campaign currently mainly targets adults aged over 18, with nearly 1.44 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered across the country as of Friday.

In June, China approved the emergency use of its domestic inactivated COVID-19 vaccines on minors aged from 3 to 17.

COVID Vaccination FAQ - A Reminder

Should older adults get the vaccine?

Yes. Clinical trials have shown that COVID-19 vaccines are safe for people aged 60 and above and can induce proper immune responses in them. But special attention should be paid to evaluate the health conditions of elderly people with underlying illnesses before inoculation. Seniors in the midst of an acute episode of disease should consult doctors beforehand and consider delaying vaccination.

I am trying to conceive/am pregnant/am breastfeeding. Should I get vaccinated?

It is not recommended to terminate pregnancy or delay pregnancy plans due to receiving vaccines, and pregnant women who are vaccinated should stick to routine prenatal visits and checks. Women who are breastfeeding and are at high risk of infections, such as medical workers, should get vaccinated, and it is recommended that they continue breastfeeding following vaccination.

How long do I have to wait between vaccine doses? What if I can't get the second or third dose on time?

For those getting two-dose inactivated vaccines, the first and second doses should be administered between three and eight weeks apart. For those getting the three-dose recombinant subunit protein vaccines, each dose should be administered at least four weeks apart.

In the case of the latter, the second dose is recommended to be given no later than eight weeks after the first, and the third should be given within six months of the first. Anyone who fails to adhere to the prescribed schedule should complete the full vaccination procedure as soon as possible. There is no need to start over.

Are there adverse reactions? If so, are any of them life-threatening?

Common adverse reactions from vaccination include headache, fever, diarrhea and fatigue, as well as swelling, redness or a lump appearing at the injection site. Most of these side effects dissipate in a few days.

Severe and acute adverse reactions, such as fainting, are rare and usually occur within 30 minutes after injection. China requires all people to stay on-site for monitoring for 30 minutes following inoculation so they can receive immediate treatment if serious side effects occur.

Is it true that the vaccine only provides protection against the virus for six months at most?

This is false. Immunity gained through vaccination can last for a minimum of six months based on data obtained from clinical trials. Researchers are still monitoring the immunity level in people who are vaccinated for the first time. As more results are released, it is expected that the length of protection will only grow.

Will vaccines work on new variants of the virus?

There is no evidence proving that observed virus mutations will render approved vaccines ineffective. Chinese vaccine developers are closely monitoring mutations of the virus worldwide and are testing their vaccines against the new strains. Results so far have suggested that domestic vaccines can still generate antibodies in humans that can fend off new variants. More research is underway.

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