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Vaccination focus of next step in COVID fight

Vaccination focus of next step in COVID fight

Leon Li 2022-12-03 12:02:19

Universal vaccination and boosters, coupled with timely and effective treatment of critically ill patients, will be the focus and challenge of the next stage of work for COVID-19 prevention and control in China, said the expert team of infectious diseases at Shanghai Huashan Hospital affiliated to Fudan University.

The team, led by Zhang Wenhong, director of the department of infectious diseases at the hospital, which is also affiliated with the National Medical Center for Infectious Diseases, made the remarks in an article published on its WeChat public account on Thursday.

As the outbreak of the epidemic enters its fourth year, "the prospect of getting out of the epidemic is becoming clearer and clearer," said the team.

"All countries in the world that have emerged from the epidemic have reached a consensus on the protection of the elderly population," the team said. "The protection of vulnerable groups with vaccines is the key to reducing hospital stays and strains on medical resources and overcoming the epidemic."

According to a study conducted by Zhang's team on the outbreak of the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus in Shanghai from March to April, two doses of primary immunization or the third booster can keep 76 percent of patients from developing a severe illness, when compared with no vaccination or only one shot.

In addition, in the 2022 outbreak in the Hong Kong Administrative Region, the mortality rate of the patients after receiving two shots of the vaccine was reduced by a multiple of 12 and the third booster shot reduced mortality by a multiple of 32, the team said.

"The data tell us that vaccination is of great value in preventing severe disease after viral infection, and it is particularly important to strengthen protection for vulnerable groups, especially for the elderly," the team said. The team also pointed out that in addition to vaccines, the epidemic needs to be controlled to prevent short-term outbreaks from getting out of control.

"The elderly must pay more attention to protecting themselves during this period, and strengthen self-protection in public places," said the team.

"Nursing homes need to make preparations for protection in advance, and medical resources must provide early protection for the elderly and vulnerable groups. "

China has recently announced its plan to "take small steps" to further upgrade its virus control policy and "keep moving", said Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan on Wednesday during a meeting with top public health and medical experts in Beijing.

She also stressed boosting mass immunization, especially among the elderly, accelerating preparations of drugs and medical resources, while ensuring a balance between disease control work and social and economic development.

Some regions hit by the virus have since begun fine-tuning their measures, such as lifting temporary control orders, waiving regular testing requirements for certain groups and allowing close contacts of confirmed patients to self-isolate at home, to speed up an orderly return to normal lives and production.

On Tuesday, the National Health Commission also announced a new push to get the elderly population further vaccinated against COVID-19.

By Monday, the mainland had fully vaccinated just over 90 percent of its population, and 65.8 percent of people over age 80 in the mainland have completed two doses of vaccines, up from about 40 percent in mid-November, said the commission.

Yet the vaccination rate, especially that of the senior population, still sits below that of countries such as Singapore, where the full vaccination rate for all age groups exceeds 92 percent, and that for those aged 80 and above sits even higher at 95 percent.

The above news was excerpted from china daily by China towel supplier Shenzhen City Dingrun Light Textile Import and Export Corp.Ltd, a company specialized in producing baby diapers, baby bibs, beach towel, blankets, bath towels, tea towels, compressed towels, microfiber towels etc.