Pfizer vaccine to be distributed in Beijing as COVID cases rise: Report

China Covid: The news comes as Beijing deals with an extraordinary outbreak of infections that has overburdened hospitals and depleted pharmacy shelves.

As Covid cases in China continue to climb, Beijing will soon begin supplying Pfizer’s Covid-19 medication Paxlovid to community health centres, CNN said on Monday, citing official media.

The news comes as the city deals with an unprecedented onslaught of infections that has overburdened hospitals and depleted pharmacy shelves.


According to the state-run China News Service, community doctors would give the medicine to Covid-19 patients and provide instructions on how to use it after receiving training.

“We have received the notice from officials, but it is not clear when the drugs will arrive,” CNN cited a worker at a local community health centre in Beijing’s Xicheng district as saying.

Paxlovid is the sole foreign medicine approved for use in China by the country’s authority, but getting the drug is a difficult process.

After nearly three years of lockdowns, quarantines, and mass testing, China abruptly abandoned its zero covid policy last month, following nationwide protests.

The abrupt policy change has resulted in a rush to purchase fever and cold medications, causing considerable shortages at pharmacies and online shopping platforms. According to CNN, long lines have become the norm outside fever clinics and hospital wards in the country’s capital, Beijing, and elsewhere.

After China abandoned its tight “zero Covid” policy approximately two weeks ago, regional numbers of coronavirus infected people point to explosive epidemics and overstressed healthcare institutions, says Chang Che, The New York Times’ Asia technology correspondent (NYT).

However, the severity and scope of the country’s first statewide outbreak remain largely unknown, with official statistics from the central government remaining low.

An official in Zhejiang Province, home to 65 million people, estimated that daily Covid cases had surpassed one million at a news conference on Sunday.

A health minister in the eastern city of Qingdao, population 10 million, stated on Friday that there were nearly half a million new cases every day, a figure he expected to climb substantially in the coming days, according to local news sites.

A city health committee report issued on Friday in Dongguan, a seven-million-person city in central Guangdong Province, projected between 250,000 and 300,000 new cases every day.

According to local media, officials in Yulin, a metropolis of over 3.6 million people in northwestern Shaanxi Province, registered 157,000 sick on Friday, with models predicting that more than a third of the city’s population had already been infected.