MOST people in China are safe from the spread of Covid-19 due to widespread vaccinations and natural immunity, but uncertainties remain about what will happen down the road, according to Zeng Guang, former chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Some 80 to 90 percent of people in China have acquired herd immunity for Covid-19 in the wake of the Omicron outbreaks since December, said the senior medical expert in an interview with People’s Daily on Wednesday.
The State-sponsored mass-vaccination campaigns of the last few years have managed to raise vaccination rates to above 90 percent in the country, he told the newspaper.
The combined factors meant that the country’s epidemic situation is safe, at least for now. “In the short term, the situation is safe, and the thunderstorm has passed,” said Zeng, who is also a member of the National Health Commission’s expert panel.
However, Zeng added that the country still faces the risk of importing new Omicron lineages such as XBB and BQ.1 and their subvariants, which could pose a great challenge to the unvaccinated elderly population.
The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said on Saturday that 3.48 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines had been administered to about 1.31 billion people, with 1.27 billion completing a full course of vaccination and 826 million receiving their first booster.
Some 241 million people aged 60 and above received a cumulative 678 million vaccine doses, with 230 million completing a full course of vaccination and 192 million receiving their first booster. — China Daily/ANN