China says top Chinese leaders administered COVID vaccines, allays efficacy, safety concerns

China on Saturday revealed that top leaders of the ruling Communist Party have been administered Chinese COVID-19 vaccines as it allayed public concerns over the efficacy and safety of its coronavirus jabs.The revelation came amid reports of low confidence of Chinese vaccines among the public, especially the vaccine hesitation among people 60 years above, who are regarded the most vulnerable to COVID-19 especially the Omicron variant, clusters of which are periodically surfacing in several Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai.


PTI | Beijing | Updated: 23-07-2022 20:01 IST | Created: 23-07-2022 19:55 IST
China says top Chinese leaders administered COVID vaccines, allays efficacy, safety concerns
Representative image Image Credit: ANI
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China on Saturday revealed that top leaders of the ruling Communist Party have been administered Chinese COVID-19 vaccines as it allayed public concerns over the efficacy and safety of its coronavirus jabs.

The revelation came amid reports of low confidence of Chinese vaccines among the public, especially the vaccine hesitation among people 60 years above, who are regarded the most vulnerable to COVID-19 especially the Omicron variant, clusters of which are periodically surfacing in several Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai. China's Communist Party and state leaders have all been vaccinated using domestic COVID-19 vaccines, Zeng Yixin, deputy director of the Chinese National Health Commission (NHC) told at a media briefing here on Saturday when asked whether Chinese leaders had been vaccinated.

This demonstrated Chinese leaders' emphasis on epidemic prevention and control work and their strong confidence in domestic vaccines, state-run Global Times quoted him as saying.

This is perhaps the first time that a Chinese official revealed that the state leaders, an official reference to top leaders like President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other leaders, have been vaccinated.

While China aggressively pursued vaccine diplomacy ever since rolled out different COVID-19 vaccines in 2021 with photos of leaders of several countries including that of Pakistan taking its vaccines, there was no such campaign involving the Chinese leaders, raising questions about whether they have been administered the shots.

Chinese officials in the past skirted questions on the vaccination status of the leaders.

Xi and other leaders who reside in a heavily guarded Zhongnanhai official residential complex have also not travelled out of China since 2020 and mostly addressed the world forums through the video format. Xi recently stepped out to visit Hong Kong on June 30 to take part in the celebrations to mark 25 years of the return of the former British colony to China's rule.

Speculation is rife that Xi, 68, who is widely tipped to get a rare third term in power in the upcoming once-in-a-five-year Party Congress to be held in the coming weeks may travel out of China for the first time to take part in the G20 leaders meeting to be held on November 15-16 this year in Indonesia.

Defending the efficacy of the Chinese vaccines, Zeng said that three China-developed COVID-19 vaccines had been included into the emergency usage list of the World Health Organisation.

More than 100 countries and regions had approved usage of China's vaccines and in many cases China-produced shots are the only ones that can be used on underage children, he said.

Leaders in more than 30 countries and regions like Turkey, Serbia, Cambodia, the Philippines and Chile, had received Chinese vaccines, Zeng said.

All those facts indicated that China-manufactured vaccines had been widely accepted by the international community, he said.

China kicked off nationwide mass vaccination in early 2021. As of Friday, a total of 3.4 billion shots of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered on the Chinese mainland, according to data released daily by the NHC.

Overall, the rate of side effects following inoculation of Chinese COVID-19 vaccines were lower than that of other normal vaccines, including polio and flu vaccines, administered in China in 2020, Feng Zijian, the standing vice chairman of the Chinese Preventive Medicine Association, told the media.

Neither had there been any safety issue over Chinese shots administered in foreign countries, demonstrating the safety of China's vaccines, Feng said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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