China has started the coronavirus vaccination drive. The drive will first include nine groups on the priority list. Beijing started vaccinating specific groups with high infection risks. Nine groups of people aged 18 to 59 years will be vaccinated before the Spring Festival of 2021, that falls on February 12.
These groups include transport workers, medical personnel and social workers. Inspection workers at customs who deal with imported cold-chain products, porters at entry of ports, officials in the international and domestic transportation industries, people who are set to travel abroad for work or personal reasons, medical workers and government department workers are part of the nine key groups.
Vaccines are provided for free in the country. However, medical centres are not accepting individual reservations for vaccines.
As per reports thousands lined up in Beijing to receive the vaccine before the Chinese New Year mass travel season in February. According to AFP Beijing, over 73,000 people have received the first dose of the vaccine.
Chinese pharma giant Sinopharm's vaccine was given 'conditional' approval on New Year's Eve. The company said that the vaccine has 79 per cent efficacy rate.
Gyms and empty factories were used as centres for the vaccination programme.
However, no detailed efficacy data of the vaccine has been publicly released for the vaccine but its developer, Beijing Biological Products Institute, a unit of Sinopharm subsidiary China National Biotec Group (CNBG), said on Wednesday its vaccine was 79.34% effective in preventing people from developing the disease based on interim data.