CHINA is studying if it’s necessary to give booster COVID-19 vaccine shots to vulnerable groups such as the elderly, people with underlying diseases and those who work in high-risk areas.

There isn’t yet enough evidence to suggest that a third shot is needed for everyone, Wang Huaqing, an expert with Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said at a press briefing Saturday.

The country recorded 328 new locally-transmitted cases in July, almost equaling the amount of cases reported in the previous five months combined, National Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng said at the same briefing. The virus being transmitted currently is mostly the delta variant, but China’s virus control measures are still effective against it, Mr. Mi said.

Mass vaccinations alone can’t contain the spread of the Delta strain, and must be complimented with stringent curbs such as social distancing and the wearing of masks, said Shao Yiming, a researcher with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s the lesson from many developed countries, where cases are rebounding after authorities eased COVID restrictions when they reached a high vaccination rate level, he said.

The government will also step up its work on vaccinating the elderly and teenagers, National Health Commission official He Qinghua said. — Bloomberg