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Covid in China: Xi Jinping and other leaders given domestic vaccine

President Xi Jinping and other top politicians have been given domestically produced Covid vaccines, China has said.The news was released as part of a campaign to increase vaccination rates, especially of boosters.The deputy head of China’s National Health Commission, Zeng Yixin, said it showed the leadership’s confidence in the Chinese vaccines.Health information about these figures is not usually shared with the public.

Mr Zeng said the country’s leaders had “all taken the home-grown Covid-19 vaccination jabs”.

He added: “This has fully displayed that they attach great importance to the epidemic prevention and control work and highly trust the home-grown Covid-19 vaccines.”

Officials are trying to increase vaccination rates, which are considered too low for the country to reopen safely.China continues to follow a “zero Covid” strategy, including mass testing, strict isolation rules and local lockdowns.While there have been far fewer deaths than in many other countries, this approach is facing growing opposition as people and businesses continue to face the strain of restrictions.

President Xi has repeatedly said that there is no alternative to zero Covid.

China has seen 2,167,619 cases and 14,647 deaths since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University.This compares with 23,088,074 cases and 181,398 deaths in the UK.An outbreak of Covid in Shanghai in April saw the city placed into lockdown for more than two months.During the outbreak, concerns were raised over low vaccination rates. Officials said just 38% of those over 60 had received a booster, while only 15% of over-80s had been given two doses.Recent figures show that across the country, 90% of people have now had two jabs.