An official with the Chinese government has announced plans to administer vaccinations to 1.1 billion Chinese citizens by the end of October this year. The aggressive target was reportedly set by Chinese leader Xi Jinping, according to state-run media.
Qin Weiguo, the mayor of the Huaibei municipal government of eastern China’s Anhui Province, said there will be “vaccination coverage for one billion people by the end of August and 1.1 billion by the end of October.”
The statement was made on August 19 following a provincial video conference with the local provincial leadership. The statement was reported on by Huaibei Daily the day after the meeting however the report has since been deleted from the internet.
Zhong Nanshan, an epidemiologist from Beijing said last week that China is expected to reach 80 percent vaccination coverage by the end of the year, which is consistent with Qin’s statement.
The aggressive goal is said to be adding intense political pressure on local governments and citizens despite the fact the country’s vaccine efforts have been widely characterized by authorities as voluntary.
Lin Xiaoxu, a former virology researcher at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, told NTD’s Chinese Language program “Voices of Influence” that, “for local governments, epidemic prevention is a political task.”
Pressure on local governments to “zero out” the unvaccinated population is being applied by the central government while outbreaks of the virus continue to force many communities across China into disruptive lock-downs.
China’s National Health Commission (NHC) stated in July that vaccination was to be voluntary across the country but local governments, feeling the pressure from above, have been imposing strict vaccine mandates. Some unvaccinated workers have been told that their salaries would be suspended or they would be denied work unless they received a vaccine.
Qin was quoted as saying in the Huaibei report that the recent vaccination drives have been implemented to “win the ‘People’s War’ on vaccination.”
A “People’s War” was originally a military strategy first introduced by the past Chinese Communist Party leader Mao Zedong. It was implemented as a way to garner support from the populace to fight the enemy but is now utilized as political rhetoric.
Chinese netizens have been posting stories online of people dying of heart failure and brain hemorrhages following vaccination with a domestically produced vaccine.
Other posts by Chinese citizens are claiming vaccinated individuals are contracting epilepsy, leukemia and are experiencing memory loss following inoculation with Chinese vaccines.
To date Chinese authorities have not released any official statistics concerning adverse reactions to vaccinations.
“Family members who have tried to voice their concerns have faced suppression with some being banned from social media,” The Epoch Times reported.