China faces major flu shot shortage as coronavirus ‘twindemic’ fears surge

China faces major flu shot shortage as coronavirus ‘twindemic’ fears surge

Some have even named the double infection risk as a “twindemic”. Many residents have rushed to clinics since China began its flu vaccine campaign in September.

Last month, Zhang Hui, deputy director of China’s National Institutes for Food and Drug Control, said the country may make as many as 50 million flu shots available this year.

However, he told news site ThePaper production may not be able to keep up with demand.

Now, citizens are also facing significantly higher prices for the vaccines as third parties aim to sell them online.

These vaccines are being sold for over three times the cost of shots available at normal clinics – around 450 yuan, or just over £50.

One member of staff at a community health center in Beijing told the Guardian: “Right now the amount of vaccines cannot keep up”.

Meanwhile, internet users on China’s social network Weibo are said to be criticising drug companies in the country for not predicting the rise in demand.

Generally, China provides around 30 million flu vaccines each year – but this is only enough for around 2 percent of the country’s population.

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For comparison, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the US claims over 62 percent of children aged between 6 months and 17 years old received a vaccine in the country during the 2018-19 season.

The figure for adults aged 18 or over was lower at around 45.3 percent.

Both figures were higher than they were during the 2017-18 season.

Concerns about COVID-19 circulating along with seasonal flu as well as other viruses has also been voiced in the UK.

In September, the government published its COVID-19 winter plan for adult social care, which stressed the winter season is “likely to place unique pressures on the health and care system”.

It adds: “COVID-19 will be co-circulating with seasonal flu and other viruses, and transmission may increase over the winter period.

“Many viral illnesses – including flu and COVD-19 – present with similar symptoms initially, so we may see, for example, increased demand for COVID-19 tests.”

On 30 January 2020, Public Health England reported 71.6 adults over the age of 65 had received the fly vaccine.

Yesterday, China said there had been seven new confirmed cases of coronavirus across 31 provinces in the country, according to the official website of the National Health Commission.

Worldwide, there have been a total of 35,848,254 cases of COVID-19, with 1,048,181 deaths, according to data from the European Centres for Disease Prevention and Control.

Published at Wed, 07 Oct 2020 23:22:00 +0000