Beijing, China’s capital, has begun providing COVID-19 booster shots, four months before the city and neighbouring regions host the Winter Olympics.
According to official media, anyone aged 18 or older who has taken two doses of Chinese vaccines and is in an at-risk group, such as those who participate in, organize, or work on games facilities, will be eligible for the second injection.
Since late September, the booster has begun rolling out in cities across the enormous country, but Beijing officials have been particularly cautious about who gets the extra shot.
The games are set to begin on February 4th, with only Chinese citizens permitted to attend. Indoor competitions featuring sliding, skiing, and jumping will be place in Yanqing’s suburbs and Zhangjiakou’s neighbouring city.
China has generally succeeded in avoiding local transmission by enforcing tight mask-wearing, quarantining, and contact-tracing regulations. However, fresh cases continue to emerge, with 28 new ones recorded on Friday, including one in Fengtai, a Beijing suburb.
The pandemic is thought to have started in late 2019 in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, which resulted in a total lockdown affecting more than 50 million people.
China has been accused of concealing the first epidemic and obstructing inquiries into the virus’s origins, while Beijing stated earlier this week that it will assist with a new WHO inquiry while “firmly opposing any forms of political manipulation.”
Following criticism of its earlier attempts for being too easy on China, WHO presented a recommended list of 25 experts on Wednesday to advise it on further steps in the quest for the virus’s origins.