Health officials in the eastern Chinese city of Jiaxing announced on Friday that they had begun to administer a vaccine against Covid-19 among high-risk groups, which will be gradually distributed to residents.
According to the city’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the “Vaccine from the company Sinovac will be distributed in the future to people between 18 and 59 years old”, at a total price of 400 yuan (about 51 euros), for two injections, which will be administered between 14 and 28 days.
The vaccine does not yet have a commercial license and can only be used in exceptional cases: so far, it has been administered to people who perform work considered “at risk”, such as health officials or employees of disease prevention programs, such as port inspectors and public officials.
There is still no national guide on other uses of “emergency”, although in the same province, Zhejiang, Yiwu City has prepared more than 500 doses, which can be used on residents who have to travel abroad, according to the Chinese press.
In Jiaxing, according to a local CDC official, quoted by the state newspaper Global Times, there are already “Hundreds of vaccines”, although it is still unclear how and when they will be distributed.
For now, citizens who “Have an emergency need” can make an appointment at community clinics in the city.
The Zhejiang Center for Disease Control and Prevention added on Friday that it will “promote emergency vaccination against the new coronavirus in an orderly manner”.
China authorized the use of vaccine candidates in medical personnel and staff for “emergency cases” on July 22 and in late September, the director of the Center for the Development of Science and Technology of the National Health Commission, Zheng Zhongwei, noted that these have been used in “risk groups”, presenting “very solid” results.
Zheng has not released a date for Chinese vaccines to be applied en masse, but indicated that the Asian country plans to manufacture 610 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine before the end of this year, and 1,000 million in 2021, and that these will be “Accessible to the public”.