The Chinese are cautious when receiving Covid-19 vaccine due to concerns about side effects or unclear information from domestic products.
As a medical specialist at a public hospital in northeastern China, Zhang Quan is at a very high risk of contracting nCoV.
A 37-year-old gastroenterologist from Anshan, Liaoning Province, tries to avoid the danger by wearing a mask, washing his hands and testing Covid-19 at least once a month.
However, Dr. Zhang is not excited about being on the list of the preferred recipients of Covid-19 vaccine.
“There have been health workers in the US and UK that have had serious side effects from the vaccine, related to the previously reported allergic reaction. I don’t want to be a lab mouse,” he said. .
Zhang thinks it would be better to wait for the results of the tests.
“I have not seen any validated third phase test data. Besides, China is very strict in disease control and Anshan has not had any more cases for several months. Please wait and see.” Why, “he said.
Many of Zhang’s colleagues share this view.
The Chinese appear to be more cautious when authorities plan to vaccinate people at high risk or work on the front lines of the fight against the epidemic. This group includes port workers, frozen chain food handlers and transporters, which number up to 50 million, according to the National Health Commission.
This strategy could help China extend the time before it expands vaccine production, approvals, and mass distribution, said Wang Huaqing, immunization specialist at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Right now, the majority of Chinese people are susceptible to nCoV. We all want to stop the epidemic with vaccination,” Wang said.
On December 30, the pharmaceutical company Sinopharm announced the vaccine was 79% effective. Two weeks ago, the Beijing Biological Institute announced its candidate had achieved 86% protection without giving any further information.
More than a million Chinese have been vaccinated through the emergency use program. Foreigners have to travel hundreds of kilometers to get the vaccine.
However, those who remained did not appear in a hurry.
At the Sanyuanli food market in Beijing, little trader Feng doesn’t think he needs to be vaccinated.
“The market manager asked us to apply for the vaccine but I’m not sure about that,” said Feng. “What’s urgent? We’re fine without a vaccine.”
Markets are considered high-risk locations, as they often attract people and sell frozen foods. The Sanyuanli market management has stepped up its preventive measures by checking customers’ temperatures, reporting medical information and constantly reminding people to wear masks through the radio.
Foreigners also often visit the market because it sells a variety of imported products. But Feng is still not worried.
“There are fewer foreigners here this year. Also, the government controls the border so tightly that most customers have never left China,” she said.
However, in central China, Zhu Junqiang, owner of a frozen meat facility in Wuhan, where the virus was first discovered, has a different attitude. He welcomes any precautions.
“The workers are tested for Covid-19 at least three times a month and they are all wearing protective clothing, but it is still not enough,” Zhu said.
Heavy workers are unable to wear masks or protective gear properly for many hours. Vaccines do this better.
Zhu said China has not yet approved any vaccines for mass use and that the test data has not yet approved, but “any level of protection is better than none”.
He hopes the vaccine can be provided for free, but he is also willing to pay 200 yuan (about $ 30.5) per dose.
“I don’t want to risk my health or even my life for a matter as small as 100 yuan.”
Vaccination of key populations can minimize the risk of the spread of COV in the community, creating a buffer for vaccination in other populations.
Thao Anh (According to the The Star)