'Voluntary' vaccination principle must be upheld nationwide

Updated: 2021- 07- 16

Whether or not one is inoculated with a novel coronavirus vaccine has a bearing on not only the concerned person's health and safety but also on those of other people. That is why China adheres to the principle of "informed, consented and voluntary" vaccination.

However, in recent days, the epidemic prevention and control authorities in quite a few places have issued notices or made announcements emphasizing that "all vaccinations should be carried out" while restricting some public activities of those who have not been vaccinated.

According to incomplete statistics, more than 20 local authorities in Shaanxi, Sichuan, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Shandong, Jiangsu, Anhui, Fujian and other provinces, through notices or public announcements, have said that except for those with contraindications, non-vaccinated persons are barred from entering bus and train stations, airports, medical institutions, nursing homes, schools, supermarkets, shopping malls and other key public places.

Some local authorities have even barred rural market vendors from selling their wares until they are vaccinated, while schools have temporarily stopped admitting children until their family members have been vaccinated.

Some people have raised objections against such measures. However, one should not forget that the epidemic is still raging in many parts of the world, necessitating universal vaccination to achieve herd immunity. At a time when many countries are facing difficulties procuring vaccines, China is providing free and universal vaccination for its people and those in some other countries.

But as China enters the later stage of the vaccination drive, some local government departments are under greater pressure to complete the task. Some of them have even taken special measures to do so but they should keep in mind that however urgent and important it might be, the work should be done in accordance with the law and regulations, and scientifically, and people should not be forcibly inoculated.

While vaccination is needed to protect people's lives, one cannot ignore the decision of those who do not wish to be vaccinated. While some among those resisting vaccination may be suspicious of science, there are many others who may not want to be vaccinated because of factors such as medical contraindications, pregnancy or because they have not reached the required age. It is not right to forcibly vaccinate such people.

The regulation restricting nonvaccinated people from traveling or subjecting them to other restrictions not only violates the voluntary vaccination principle, but also affects the vaccination drive.

Source: China Daily

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