China's Zhejiang province seeks to vaccinate young kids by December

Mass vaccination program for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Jakarta
A girl reacts while receiving a dose of China's Sinovac Biotech vaccine for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during a mass vaccination program at a school building in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 26, 2021. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

BEIJING, Oct 26 (Reuters) - China's eastern province of Zhejiang aims to finish vaccinating children between the ages of three and 11 against COVID-19 as of December, the provincial government said on Tuesday, the first specific target announced by a major region for the age group.

The 5.5 million individuals in that age group are expected to receive their first vaccine dose by Nov. 20 and their second by Dec. 20 in Zhejiang's plan, said Xia Shichang, the vice director of the Health Commission of Zhejiang, during a news briefing streamed on the provincial government website.

China is yet to disclose a clear national plan on when to complete inoculating different groups.

Three different two-dose vaccines, two from Sinopharm and one from Sinovac, have been approved to inoculate those as young as three in China.

Some cities in other provinces are also vaccinating children between three and 11. The city of Wuzhishan in the southern province of Hainan said on Tuesday that it plans to finish giving two doses to about 12,000 individuals in that age group by the end of December.

About 76% of China's 1.4 billion people have already received complete COVID-19 vaccinations as of Oct. 23 and eligible people are getting one booster shot.

Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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