The reason that China chose to adjust its COVID-19 response measures at this juncture is directly related to national elderly vaccination, said Liang Wannian, head of the COVID-19 response expert panel under China's National Health Commission when interviewed by state broadcaster CCTV.
From offering the world's first inhaled COVID-19 vaccines and developing Omicron-targeted vaccines to rolling out second booster shots and targeted immunization plans for seniors, China's vaccination efforts have gained steam this year, according to authorities.
China is continuing its optimization of COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control measures as it shifts the focus of its response strategy from curbing new infections to preventing and treating severe cases.
China's COVID-19 prevention and control work is facing new situations and new tasks, with the weakening pathogenicity of Omicron, increasing uptake of vaccination and growing disease response experiences, Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan said on Wednesday.
The work plan issued on Tuesday by the State Council joint prevention and control mechanism against COVID-19 aims to leverage the protective effect of vaccination to reduce the risk of severe or critical illness and death among infected seniors.