Chinese nationals living in India will soon get vaccinated against COVID-19, as part of the country’s global campaign, “Spring Sprout”, to inoculate its citizens, the Global Times reported on Thursday (June 3).
The Chinese embassy in New Delhi has released an online questionnaire for its nationals in India. This has been seen as the first step towards initialising “Spring Sprout” free vaccine programme in India.
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Over 5 lakh Chinese nationals living in 120 countries have benefitted from “Spring Sprout” programme, which was launched in March.
As per the data provided by China’s National Health Commission on Thursday, China has administered 704.83 million vaccine doses in its country so far with priority being accorded to people in the 18-59 age bracket.
The pandemic is very much under control in China, but the government is not taking chances. “As long as outbreaks remain uncontrolled outside of our borders, it’s possible to have them anywhere in China, no matter how long there have been no local cases,” Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had said in May.
The Communist government, meanwhile, is contemplating opening its vaccination drive for people below the age of 18 as the country fears surge in cases mainly from foreign countries, a CDC official told Global Times.
China first vaccinated front line and high-risk groups, including medical workers, and is right now focusing on the 18-59 age group. The next on target are those above 60 years of age. However, scientists now want to know what role young people play in the transmission of the coronavirus.
Over 86% of the population (14.13 million) above 18 years of age has been administered the first dose so far.
China has been treading cautiously despite just one COVID death last month because of new cases being diagnosed recently in the southern province of Guangdong. The medical authorities say this surge has been driven by virus variants first identified in India and Britain.