BEIJING (CHINA) – National Health Commission has stated that the country will provide COVID-19 vaccines free of charge once they become available to general public.
Despite the costs involved in transporting the vaccine, the government can provide vaccines for free to individuals, said Zheng Zhongwei of National Health Commission. “Our people don’t have to pay a single cent for the vaccine,” Zheng told a press event in Beijing.
The country has administered more than 9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, Zeng said, out of which over 7 million were administered since mid-December.
China’s first vaccine was approved in late December for general public use. Through an emergency-use program, three vaccines had already been distributed to medical workers and limited high risk groups.
In an effort to quell a resurgence in the winter and spring, the country widened the inoculation scheme in mid-December to more key groups such as employees in the food and public transport sectors.
Those vaccinations are also free for individuals, said National Health Commission official Zeng Yixin.
“We had found some local governments had charged individuals fees, we…demanded immediate rectification,” Zeng told the briefing, adding that currently local governments have since properly implemented the free vaccination policy.