Chinese media slams UK for ‘elderly first’ approach to vaccine rollout as country prioritises jabbing working population

CHINESE state media has blasted the UK for choosing to vaccinate the elderly first against coronavirus.

Along with many other western countries, the UK has decided to prioritise giving jabs to the older generation, while in China government and public service workers aged between 18 and 59 are getting the jab first.

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The Chinese vaccine is also available to those planning to travel overseas to study or work.

In an online talk show published by the Communist party controlled publication The Global Times, outspoken editor-in-chief Hu Xijin hailed Beijing's decision as "responsible", while slamming the UK's approach.

In the Hu Says programme, he commented: "Western public opinion believes that the Covid-19 vaccine should be first distributed among the elderly and that avoiding this group indicates that Sinopharm's vaccine is not yet mature.

"I think it reflects China's responsible attitude."

Health authorities in China granted 'conditional' approval to the vaccine produced by state-run drug maker Sinopharm at the end of last year, with an efficiency rate of 79 per cent.

It came weeks after the world's first Covid jab was given the green light in the UK early in December.

Hu also blasted the US for the promoting the Pfizer vaccine, condemning the Trump administration for "touting" it "on insufficient evidence", after praising China's homegrown Covid jab.

The 60-year-old editor remarked that "very few" new infections in the China were elderly people.

He argued that those who are middle-aged and younger spread the disease faster, as they are more socially active.

Hu added: "That's why the Chinese government's decision fits our situation on the ground."

His comments came after a pensioner in the UK became the first person to receive the Oxford Covid vaccine yesterday.

Brian Pinker, 82, a dialysis patient who describes himself as "Oxford born and bred", received the jab at Oxford University Hospital at 7.30am."

It also came after Boris Johnson last night ordered everyone in England to stay at home until mid-February as he launched an emergency lockdown to try and save Britain's NHS.

In a dramatic escalation in the fight against Covid, the PM ordered the closure of all schools and non-essential shops for at least the next six weeks.

China, where Covid first emerged in 2019, now claims to have mostly returned to normal since the pandemic, with scenes of packed nightclubs, theme parks and sports games now common again.

Pictures showed on New Year's Eve that even in Wuhan life appears to be almost like it was before the pandemic.

Much of the world however continues to suffer, with Britain becoming a new focus point amid the emerging new mutant virus.

More than 2.7million people have been infected in the UK, with 76,305 deaths, while China has only admitted to 87,183 cases and 4,634 deaths.

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