China’s first local COVID-19 case since last month was a staff worker at a hospital who had received two shots of a China-made COVID-19 vaccine between the end of January and early last month, state media reported yesterday.
The woman, surnamed Liu (劉), had been working in the quarantine area of a hospital in Xian since March 4, and was mainly responsible for collecting samples of quarantined people for COVID-19 testing, said the Health Times, a newspaper published under the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party.
China had reported the case on Thursday, making it the country’s first locally transmitted case since Feb. 14.
The Health Times, citing an expert group of Shaanxi Province, said that Liu was infected after being accidentally exposed to the virus in the hospital’s quarantine area.
The report quoted former Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention chief epidemiologist Zeng Guang (曾光) as saying that the protection rate of the vaccine given to the woman is “not 100 percent,” and that it is “relatively safe” rather than “absolutely safe,” but the public should not doubt
domestic vaccines due to this case.
“The efficacy rate of domestic vaccines in preventing severe cases in China is more than 90 percent, and the overall protection rate is more than 70 percent,” Zeng said, adding that hospitals that treat people with COVID-19 are high-risk areas where vaccinated medical staff cannot rule out the possibility of infection.
Thirty-three staff working in the quarantine area with Liu had negative nucleic acid test results, and have undergone centralized medical isolation and observation, Zeng said.
The Health Times did not specify which vaccine Liu had received.
China administers four domestic COVID-19 vaccines to civilians, with vaccines made by CanSino Biologics (康希諾生物) and the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, an affiliate of China National Pharmaceutical Group Corp (Sinopharm, 中國醫藥集團總), receiving approval last month.
They joined a vaccine from Sinovac Biotech (科興生物), which was also approved last month, and one from Sinopharm’s Beijing unit approved last year.
A fifth vaccine, developed by the Institute of Microbiology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was also approved for emergency use in China, the institute announced on Monday.
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