Chinese media warns against using ‘crude’ methods to vaccinate citizens

China carried out about 5.1 million vaccinations against Covid-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total number administered to 119.82 million
Residents queue to receive the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine in Lianyungang in China's eastern Jiangsu province on Thursday. (AFP)
Residents queue to receive the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine in Lianyungang in China's eastern Jiangsu province on Thursday. (AFP)
Published on Apr 01, 2021 05:12 PM IST
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BySutirtho Patranobis I Edited by Amit Chanda

China’s vaccination drive is in the eye of huge media storm as the campaign is being pushed in some cases by “crude” methods including linking it to better grading for students and even banning those who do not agree to take the jab from entering public places.

Wancheng township in the Hainan province, for example, had to apologise on Wednesday and withdraw an order, which said that those who did not take the vaccine would not be allowed to enter public places such as supermarkets and restaurants and could not use public transport, a state media report said.

The individuals, the notice said, could be added to a blacklist as well.

On Wednesday, in a rare admission, Xinhua Daily Telegraph, a media outlet affiliated to the Xinhua news agency, warned against using “simple, crude” methods to persuade people to vaccinate.

“It is worth noting that in the process of advancing vaccination, there have been some simple and crude bad signs in a few places,” the opinion piece said even as it lauded China’s vaccination campaign.

It said that in some instances schools had linked the performances of both students and teachers to the number of vaccinations carried out by the school.

Criticising the “one size fits all” way of carrying out the vaccination drive, the article said in some cases the jabs were given to factory workers “ignoring special physical conditions”; and, at yet others, the normal production of enterprises was hampered to increase the number of vaccinations.

“A high school in the southern city of Shenzhen required faculty members who didn’t get vaccinated by the end of March to provide a written report to the principal explaining why,” a person who received the notice told Reuters.

These methods may not only pose a medical risk to the unvaccinated population but may even increase the resistance in the population, the Xinhua piece said.

The opinion piece warned that the vaccination drive like the epidemic prevention and control work was also a “…major test of grass-roots governance capacity”.

China carried out about 5.1 million vaccinations against Covid-19 on March 31, bringing the total number administered to 119.82 million, the national health commission said on Thursday.

“China’s mass vaccination campaign has entered the fast track with its daily inoculations leaping from 1 million to nearly 3 million within a week. The Global Times has learnt China’s overall inoculation rate to surpass 10 million per day, putting it on target to administering vaccines to 40 percent of the population,” the tabloid Global Times said in an article in late March.

China’s daily vaccine output has climbed to 5 million doses every day from 1.5 million in February.

The Chinese government vaccination task force announced a week ago that China plans to speed up its universal, free-of-charge immunisation programme, expanding its coverage from people at higher risk for Covid-19 to the general public.

A widespread concentrated vaccination drive is in the offing, it added.

“Priorities will be given to people in key sectors, including medicine and health, traffic and education, and at key workplaces, such as supermarkets, large-sized enterprises and office buildings,” a report in the Xinhua said, quoting the task force.

Vaccination has been kicked off among people aged above 60 in some regions, said the task force.

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Tuesday, December 07, 2021