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Beijing Already Offering COVID19 Vaccinations 4 Months Ahead of Controversy-Plagued Winter Olympics

Beijing Already Offering COVID19 Vaccinations 4 Months Ahead of Controversy-Plagued Winter Olympics

China’s capital Beijing has begun offering booster shots against COVID-19, four months before the city and surrounding regions are to host the Winter Olympics, the Associated Press is reporting.

Anyone 18 or older who has received two-dose Chinese vaccines and belongs to at-risk groups, including those participating, organizing, or working on games facilities, would be eligible for the additional shot, state media reported Friday. China has been largely successful in preventing local transmission through strict requirements on mask-wearing, quarantining, and contact tracing. Cases continue to pop up however, with 28 new ones reported Friday, including one in the Beijing suburb of Fengtai.

The booster has been rolling out in cities across the vast nation since late September, but Beijing authorities have been extra cautious in who receives the extra jab.

China has been accused of covering up the initial outbreak and stonewalling investigations into the coronavirus’ origins, although it said earlier this week that it would cooperate with a renewed investigation by the World Health Organization (WHO) while “firmly opposing any forms of political manipulation.”

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WHO on Wednesday released a proposed list of 25 experts to advise it on potential next steps in the search for the virus’ origins after its earlier efforts were attacked for going easy on China.

The Coronavirus pandemic is still believed to have originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019, leading to a total lockdown that affected more than 50 million people. The Olympic Games are set to begin on February 4th with only residents of China allowed in the stands. Indoor events with sliding, skiing, and jumping will be held in the suburb of Yanqing and the neighboring city of Zhangjiakou.

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