Guangzhou urges elderly to get vaccinated

By Qiu Quanlin Updated: December 5, 2022

Elderly people are called on to receive vaccinations in fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, as the local vaccination rate of such groups of people has not yet formed a barrier against severe diseases, according to local health official.

The vaccination rate of first doses for people over 80 years old in the city was only 52.7 percent, according to Zhang Yi, deputy director and spokeswoman of Guangzhou Health Commission.

"It is very urgent to improve the vaccination rate of the elderly, as domestic and foreign studies have shown that vaccination against the COVID-19 pandemic can effectively reduce the severity rate and the death rate," said Zhang, during a press conference on Sunday afternoon.

There were 656 infected people aged 80 years old and above in the latest outbreak in Guangzhou, of which 302 had not been vaccinated, according to Zhang.

"Elderly people over 60 years old are at a higher risk of severe infection, especially those with symptoms of other diseases," she said.

One case of an 82-year-old person in the city, who had not been vaccinated, developed critical conditions after being infected with the novel coronavirus, according to Zhang.

As part of optimized prevention and control measures, local authorities have arranged 231 vaccination spots across the city, with door-to-door services being offered for elderly people, according to Zhang.

According to Zhang Zhoubin, Party secretary of the Guangzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of severe illness and death could be reduced by more than 90 percent for elderly people after they are vaccinated.

"Vaccination has indeed played an important role in preventing severe diseases and deaths," he said.

Guangzhou reported 4,581 new infections on Saturday, of which 71 are found at community level, without infected people in severe or critical conditions, according to the local health authority.