‘I don’t trust it:’ Vaccine hesitancy lingers even as China COVID cases surge – Reuters.com

by | Dec 18, 2022 | COVID-19

SHENZHEN, China, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Headhunter Candice knows the COVID-19 infections engulfing Beijing and much of China will soon hit her home of Shenzhen city, but she would rather face it without a vaccine booster, saying she fears potential side effects more than the virus.The 28-year-old took two doses of Sinovac’s CoronaVac last year, hoping it would make travel easier, but she has since grown more sceptical, citing stories from friends about health impacts, as well as similar health warnings on social media.”I don’t trust it,” she said, speaking on the condition that only her first name be used. Candice said she has refused to participate in recent vaccination drives organised by her local community.Candice is part of a group that demonstrates how vaccine hesitancy still runs deep in mainland China, academics say, which poses a growing headache for Beijing as it tries to persuade more to get vaccinated in the face of a spike in infections after the lifting of strict anti-COVID measures.Officially, China’s vaccination rate is above 90%, but the rate for boostered adults drops to 57.9%, and to 42.3% for people aged 80 and above, according to government data, prompting warnings that the country could see over 1.5 million deaths after lifting curbs such as lockdowns and mass testing that held most virus spread at bay. read more In September, an article by a publication under the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledged coverage of older adults was poor, and that the absence of local doctors in vaccine drives, poor medical understanding and a lack of insurance for potential side effects all dampened enthusiasm.”It’s a very special case in China because people felt very safe for a long time,” said Stephanie Jean-Tsang, an assistant professor at Hong Kong Baptist University who specialises in messaging around health.”People need to realise what the risks are and how beneficial the vaccines are – it took time for Hong Kong citizens and the elderly to realise this as well.”Auth …

Article Attribution | Read More at Article Source

Share This