The Chinese government has launched a campaign to vaccinate their elderly population against COVID-19. Neighborhood committees have been ordered to find everyone 65 and older and keep track of their health, while offering a financial incentive of up to 500 yuan ($70) to get a two-dose vaccination course and one booster.
While older people are put off by potential side effects of Chinese-made vaccines and some are reluctant due to existing health complications, the number of people being vaccinated daily has more than doubled to 3.5 million nationwide.
Health experts say that vaccinating the elderly is crucial to avoiding a health care crisis and in lifting the world’s most stringent antivirus restrictions. Li Lianseng, a 64-year-old who had been vaccinated before catching COVID-19, said that his friends are alarmed by stories of fevers, blood clots and other side effects. He is considering getting a second booster due to the publicity campaign.
Jiang Shibo of the Fudan University medical school in Shanghai has said that “families and relatives of the elderly people should make it clear to them that an infection can cause serious illness and even death.”
The Chinese government has taken measures to increase the vaccination rate among their elderly population in an effort to reverse an economic slump while facing the widespread outbreaks that other countries have already gone through. It is yet to be seen if their efforts will be enough to control the virus while protecting the health of their elderly population.