But this approach has also gotten the mainland some criticism, especially recently as the country hosts the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
On Sunday, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CCDC) chief epidemiologist Wu Zunyou said to the state-run Global Times, “We previously thought COVID-19 could be basically contained through vaccines but now it seems that there’s no simple method to control it except with comprehensive measures."
A team of Chinese scientists published a research paper on Friday in the CCDC’s weekly bulletin. Using studies from Chile and Britain, their research asserts that even if the global vaccination rate reached 95%, China would see 234 million infections within a year if it reopened to 2019 levels, including 64 million symptomatic cases and 2 million deaths.
“The human race should continue to develop vaccines and explore new ways to improve vaccine protection against infection in order to eliminate COVID-19 at the global level."
The group said that in order to reduce the severity of COVID-19 to the levels of the flu, the vaccine efficacy against infection needs to increase to 40%, and the efficacy against symptomatic disease needs to increase to 90%.
“The key to controlling COVID-19 lies in the development and widespread use of vaccines that are more effective at preventing infection," the team said.
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