Health

China says Covid vaccination rates for the elderly have spiked in the past two weeks

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BEIJING — Mainland China on Tuesday announced significant progress in getting Covid-19 booster shots for people “over 80.”

By Monday, 65.8% of that age group had received booster shots, an official told reporters.

That’s up 40% as of Nov. 11, according to prior disclosures.

China also announced a new effort to further vaccinate its elderly population against Covid-19.

An official told a press conference that vaccination is still effective in preventing serious illness and death, and that the elderly are among the main beneficiaries.

The document did not provide specific details on how authorities would go about vaccinating more people.

Analysts said getting more of the population vaccinated would help put China on the path to reopening. Only China-made vaccines are available locally so far.

The Covid vaccination rate for the elderly in China is generally lower than that of the United States and Singapore.

China pushes for vaccination of the elderly

Tuesday’s announcement and press conference followed a weekend of unrest as pockets of people in cities across China expressed frustration with Covid politics. Local officials had tightened measures in some areas, contrary to signals from Beijing earlier in the month that suggested China was on the verge of reopening.

The weekend protests weighed on market sentiment in Asia on Monday. There was no indication of further protests amid heightened security.

Mainland China’s latest Covid controls negatively affected 25.1% of national GDP on Monday, according to a Nomura model. That’s above the previous peak of 21.2% recorded in April during the Shanghai lockdown.

When asked in English if China is reconsidering its Covid policy after the protests, an official simply said he was monitoring the development of the virus, without elaborating.

The country reported the first drop in daily local infections in more than a week on Monday.

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