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China Can't Open Up Like US Despite Vaccination
Published on: 2021-06-04
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China can’t start easing pandemic restrictions like the U.S, even as its inoculation campaign gathers pace, because it has no way of analyzing how well its vaccines have worked in its largely Covid-free population, according to a top health official.
 

Despite administering more than 40% of its citizens with at least one dose, Feng Zijian, the deputy director General of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said the country “has some unique difficulties” and is unable to match the U.S.’s ability to examine vaccine effectiveness in real-time as cases and deaths ebbed.
 

China has largely eliminated infections -- there’s been only one Covid-19 related fatality in the last 13 months -- which means it’s harder to gauge if vaccination is having an immediate impact.
 

“I don’t think we’ve got to that point - if we try to open even when 60% or 80% of population are vaccinated, it could still lead to a severe outbreak,” Feng said Thursday at a conference in the eastern city of Qingdao. “It largely depends on the technical considerations, societal consensus and political concerns,” he said.
 

Though Feng didn’t elaborate on what he meant by technical considerations, it’s unknown if China’s vaccines can prevent onward transmission, and not just serious sickness. Messenger RNA shots made by Pfizer Inc., BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc. appear to be able do both, diminishing outbreaks in the U.S., Israel and other places.
 

Feng’s comment signals that China intends to remain closed off even as other major economies race to open up following large-scale vaccine efforts. After a lackluster start dogged by vaccine hesitancy and some supply shortages, China has now deployed more than 704 million shots, putting the country’s 1.4 billion people on track for herd immunity territory in just a few months.
 

国内疫苗接种全部结束才能考虑开放国门

张文宏:今年底明年初,国内疫苗接种全部结束才应考虑开放

6月3日在青岛举行的博鳌亚洲论坛全球健康论坛第二届大会“实现全民健康—人人享有免疫与预防”分论坛上,针对“中国未来是否会调整对疫情‘零容忍’防控策略”的问题,国内公共卫生领域权威人士张文宏说,等疫苗接种率抵达了天花板,提高到不能再提高的时候,才可以去考虑“是否仍然对疫情‘零容忍’”的问题。他表示,这个时间应该是在今年年底、明年年初,国内疫苗接种全部结束。到时关于疫苗的保护时效、接种率与开放国门的关系,中国可以参考来自世界各国的大量数据,将会是最有资格决定什么时候完全开放,什么时候取消对疫情“零容忍”措施的国家。但在疫苗接种达到高水平、建立起免疫屏障前,放弃“零容忍”的后果不堪设想,是没有资格谈这个问题的。
 

“目前国内接种过两针疫苗的人只占百分之十几。我告诉大家,在这个比率达到70%之前不要谈这个问题,70%之后再谈。”张文宏说。
 

冯子健:尽快全民接种疫苗应是眼前唯一目标

“能不能调整现在非药物、非疫苗的公共卫生措施,让入境人员数量大大增加、恢复常态,入境之后是否需要隔离、核酸检测、戴口罩等等,所有这些都与疫苗能否在人群中实现高水平覆盖有关。”中华预防医学会秘书长冯子健强调高疫苗接种率在这一问题上的重要性。
 

冯子健表示,我们现在唯一要追求的目标就是尽可能快地把全体国民用疫苗保护起来,这是最安全的,然后才有条件和可能去考虑调整防控策略。“当然在实现这个最高接种率目标的过程中,我们可以逐步一个个地调整防控措施,最终进行全面的调整。”

他进一步指出,中国国土广大、人口稠密,在实现整体的高接种率之前,任何地方的提前开放,都会对尚未达到高接种率的地方产生很大影响。所以,现在不应该考虑什么时候达到免疫屏障,而是要以最快速度达到更高的接种率。

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