Muskoka Post Staff
According to state-run news agency China News Service the country has said there is no need to vaccinate the entire population against Covid-19 at this stage.
“Since the first wave of Covid-19 appeared in Wuhan, China has already survived the impact of Covid-19 several times," said Gao Fu, director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention at a vaccine summit in the city of Shenzhen on Saturday.
The question of vaccinating the public was one of balancing "risks and benefits," he added, pointing to factors like cost and potential side effects. There isn't currently a need for mass vaccination at this stage -- though that could change if another serious outbreak takes place, Gao said.
Gao cited brief spring cluster outbreaks as evidence of China's effective containment measures. "The facts have proven that we have several magic weapons to respond to the epidemic," he said.
The policy marks China apart from many Western governments, most notably Australia, that have outlined plans to introduce mass public vaccination drives.
China's reported virus numbers have stayed low since the spring.
Any potential vaccine would be prioritized for those on the front lines, Gao added: medical workers, Chinese nationals working overseas in virus hostpots, and people working in dense, high-risk environments like restaurants, schools or cleaning services.