China competes to vaccinate the elderly, but most are reluctant

China competes to vaccinate the elderly, but most are reluctant
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BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities are going door to door paying people over 60 to get vaccinated against COVID-19. But even as cases increaseLi Liansheng, 64, said his friends were worried about stories about fever, blood clots, and other side effects.

“People may not want to get vaccinated when they hear about such events,” said Li, who was vaccinated before contracting COVID-19. Li is nursing a sore throat and cough for a few days after her 10-day battle with the virus. She said it was “like a normal cold” with a mild fever.

While trying to reverse the economic collapse, China joined other countries in treating cases rather than trying to eliminate virus transmission by removing or easing testing, quarantine and movement rules. But the shift filled hospitals with feverish, wheezing patients.

The National Health Commission announced a campaign on November 1. 29 that increase the vaccination rate among older ChineseHe says it’s crucial for healthcare professionals to avoid a health crisis. It’s also the biggest obstacle for the ruling Communist Party to lift the last of the world’s strictest antivirus restrictions.

China has kept case numbers low for two years with its “zero COVID” strategy, which isolates cities and locks millions of people in their homes. As is now abandons this approachfacing widespread epidemics that other countries are already experiencing.

The health commission recorded just six COVID-19 deaths this month, bringing the official death toll in the country to 5,241. This is despite multiple reports from families of deceased relatives.

Chinese only counts deaths from pneumonia or respiratory failure It’s on the official COVID-19 toll, a health official said last week. This unusually narrow definition excludes many deaths that other countries would attribute to COVID-19.

Experts estimate that between 1 and 2 million people have died in China by the end of 2023.

Exercising on the green grounds of the Temple of Heaven in central Beijing, Li said he was considering getting a second booster because of the promotional campaign: “As long as we know the vaccine won’t cause major side effects, we should get it.”

Neighborhood committees, the lowest level of the state, were instructed to find everyone aged 65 and over and monitor their health. He’s lobbying residents to persuade older relatives to get vaccinated, what the state media calls “ideological work.”

In Beijing, the Chinese capital, the neighborhood of Liulidun promised people over the age of 60 to receive two doses of vaccine courses and a supplement.

The National Health Commission announced in December. The number of people vaccinated for 23 days has more than doubled nationwide, reaching 3.5 million. But that’s still a small fraction of the tens of millions of vaccines administered every day in early 2021.

Older people are bothered by the potential side effects of Chinese-made vaccines for which the government has not released test results on people aged 60 and over.

Li said a 55-year-old friend of hers had a fever and a blood clot after getting vaccinated. They couldn’t be sure the shot was the culprit, but her friend was reluctant to shoot another one, she said.

“It is also said The virus is constantly mutating.Li said. “How do we know if the vaccines we make are helpful?”

Some are reluctant to have diabetes, heart problems, and other health complications despite experts’ warnings that getting vaccinated is even more urgent because the risks of COVID-19 are more serious for nearly everyone than potential vaccine side effects.

A 76-year-old man, who walks around the Temple of Heaven with a stick every day, said he wants to be vaccinated but has diabetes and high blood pressure. The man, who would only give the surname Fu, said he was wearing a mask and trying to avoid the crowd.

Elderly people also felt little urgency because low case numbers before the last increase meant that very few people were at risk of infection. However, the previous lack of infection has left China with very few people developing antibodies to the virus.

“Now, families and relatives of elderly people should make it clear to them that an infection can cause serious illness or even death,” said Jiang Shibo, from Fudan University’s medical school in Shanghai.

According to the National Health Commission, more than 90% of people in China are vaccinated, but only two-thirds of those over the age of 80. According to the 2020 census, there are 191 million people aged 65 and over in China – a group that in itself would be the eighth most populous country ahead of Bangladesh.

“Coverage rates for people over 80 still need to be improved,” Shanghai news outlet The Paper said. “The elderly are at high risk”

According to Li Zhuqing, her caretaker, who pushed a face mask-wearing Du in a wheelchair through a park, Du Ming’s son arranged for the 100-year-old to be vaccinated. Li took this approach because none of the family members were infected, meaning they would be more likely to bring the disease home to Du if they were exposed.

Health officials refused reporters’ requests to visit vaccination centers. The two people who briefly entered the centers were ordered to leave when the staff found out who they were.


AP researcher Yu Bing and video producers Olivia Zhang and Wayne Zhang contributed.

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