Thousands of people lined up in Beijing on Monday, January 4, 2021, to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as China races to innoculate millions before the Chinese New Year mass travel season in February.
The State media reported on Sunday, January 3, 2021, that more than 73,000 people in the Chinese capital have received the first dose of the vaccine over the last couple of days, including community workers and bus drivers.
Health authorities on New Year’s Eve granted “conditional” approval to a vaccine candidate made by Chinese pharma giant Sinopharm, which the company said had a 79 percent efficacy rate.
One man surnamed Gu, a catering worker in his 30s, told AFP his employer had booked him a vaccine appointment at the centre, and that he wanted it “for peace of mind.”
Footage from State Broadcaster CCTV showed queues outside Local Hospitals and community health centres as people waited to read consent forms and have their temperatures taken before getting the jab.
Health officials said gyms and empty factories were among centres being used for the vaccination programme.
Channels TV reports that China plans to vaccinate millions this winter in the run-up to Lunar New Year in mid-February; adding that Beijing has already administered around 4.5 million doses of largely unproven emergency vaccines this year, mostly to health workers and other State employees destined for overseas jobs.