According to a London-based global health intelligence and analytics organization, lifting China’s zero-COVID policy might endanger between 1.3 and 2.1 million lives due to poor vaccination and booster rates as well as a lack of hybrid immunity.
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“Mainland China’s population has very low levels of immunity. Its population was immunized with domestically made vaccines Sinovac and Sinopharm, which have been shown to be much less effective and provide less protection against infection and mortality “Airfinity conducted an analysis.
According to the global health intelligence firm, China’s zero-COVID plan also implies that the population has essentially no naturally acquired immunity from a previous illness.
“As a result of these factors, our analysis shows that if mainland China experiences a similar wave to Hong Kong in February, its healthcare system might be strained, with between 167 and 279 million cases nationwide, resulting in between 1.3 and 2.1 million deaths,” it added.
Dr. Louise Blair, Head of Vaccines and Epidemiology at Airfinity, believes that it is critical for China to increase immunizations to boost immunity in order to lift its zero-COVID policy, especially given the country’s vast senior population. “As a result, China would require hybrid immunity to allow the country to weather future waves with minimal harm.”
“This has proven beneficial in other countries and regions; for example, while Hong Kong’s efforts to vaccinate the vulnerable prior to opening likely only mitigated the impact of its first wave, hybrid immunity from mass infection has led to considerably less devastating and lethal COVID-19 waves,” he noted.
Two coronavirus deaths have been reported in China, both in Beijing, which is experiencing its biggest epidemic since the start of the COVID pandemic.
These were the first officially documented deaths following the substantial relaxation of restrictions on December 7, according to CNN. This comes as Chinese social media posts indicate an increase in demand for funeral houses and crematoriums in Beijing.