Local governments in China are reportedly threatening and intimidating citizens to take the China-made COVID-19 vaccines. In some places, Chinese Communist Party members have begun visiting people door-to-door, telling them to get vaccinated in order to avoid the risk of a low ‘social credit score.’ Having a low social credit score in China essentially deprives a citizen of many of the rights and benefits enjoyed by those with higher scores, including the freedom to travel and find good employment. These threats are in response to widespread mistrust among citizens of Chinese-made vaccines manufactured by companies like Sinopharm and Sinovac.
The town of Wangcheng, in southern Hainan province, brought the incident of citizen harassment to international attention. Authorities in the town distributed notices warning that people who do not receive Chinese coronavirus vaccines will be put on a blacklist that will prohibit them from using public transportation, purchasing food, etc.
After the issue blew up, authorities announced that they had canceled such penalties and apologized for the “improper way” they mobilized the vaccination campaign. But it is not just the government pressuring Chinese citizens to be inoculated. Businesses are using their influence as well.
A source from Zhangjiagang said to The Epoch Times that his workplace has mandated all employees to get vaccinated. “For those employees who refuse it, they are required to document the reason(s) on a vaccination form, such as chronic diseases, allergies, cancer, pregnancy or wanting to become pregnant…”
“Most people don’t want to be inoculated. My friends who are policemen told me that they don’t want to be vaccinated and would try their best to avoid it. However, the school teachers as a group have already been vaccinated and the statistics are being collected,” the source told The Epoch Times.
A local market authority in Hainan province issued a notice prohibiting the entry of unvaccinated people. This has affected both the market vendors and their customers. One vegetable retailer said to The Epoch Times that the decision has resulted in a one-third drop in sales. As of March 24, authorities placed guards at the market, checking every visitor’s health code before allowing them entry.
Meanwhile, Beijing-backed state media outlet Global Times reported the blacklist threat at Wangcheng giving it their own twist. They claimed that netizens actually supported the government decision. The outlet also quoted an expert to indirectly promote such harsh measures by stating that people who do not get vaccinated are “selfish and ignorant.”
Only 4 percent of Chinese citizens have apparently chosen to be inoculated. Another state media outlet Xinhua called the threats issued by authorities “crude” and warned that such actions will only create roadblocks to the national vaccination campaign.
Reports of forceful vaccination of Chinese citizens come as Beijing has mandated China-made vaccines for foreign visitors. Chinese embassies in at least 23 nations have confirmed the decision, with the foreign ministry stating that travelers will still have to undergo state-run quarantine once they arrive in the communist nation.
Criticism has mounted on the policy since Chinese-made vaccines have lower efficacy rates than vaccines made by other companies like Pfizer and Moderna. “It’s very much at the sharp end of vaccine diplomacy… (It’s) essentially saying if you want to visit us, you need to take our vaccine,” Nicholas Thomas, an associate professor in health security at the City University of Hong Kong, told CNN.