【CGTN】China Vaccination Drive: Railway Staff Vaccinated ahead of Spring Festival Travel Rush
With the Spring Festival just a couple of weeks away, staff at one major railway station in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou are getting prepared. But it's a different type of preparation compared to years past. CGTN's Omar Khan explains how one vaccination drive is providing a sense of assurance ahead of the travel period.
Doctors and nurses administering the coronavirus vaccine at a railway station. It's a first for these medics from the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University. They're here to give jabs to those employed in high-risk industries, which includes people working in China's expansive railway network.
DR. LIU DAYUE The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University 'We've considered several challenges. One is that these workers work on a six to eight day cycle, so it could be difficult to administer the vaccine in a timely manner. It's also a risk for so many of them to come to the hospital, since there are already so many people there. Taking these factors into account, we've taken the initiative with local health authorities to transform this office space into a temporary vaccination site."
These vaccinations mark the second day that staff at China Railway Guangzhou Group are able to receive an injection. A team of 30 medics have been deployed from the university hospital to help inoculate thousands of workers.
DR. LIU DAYUE The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University 'There could be a lot of people returning home for the Spring Festival this year, and the mobility of the population is quite large. There may be hundreds of millions of people moving across the nation. For railway crew members, they are in contact with travelers across the entire country. So it's quite critical that they are vaccinated."
Those on the receiving end of the needle, some 5,000 people, include staff filling various roles. But regardless of those differences, they believe the voluntary health precaution they're taking is essential in helping contain further spread of the coronavirus.
CHEN JINYING Chief Train Attendant, China Railway Guangzhou Group 'I come into contact with thousands of people in my line of work, and I need to face even more people every day. I got the vaccine because it can improve my immunity when it comes to the virus, helping build an extra barrier. I also feel it's a responsibility not only to my family, but to society."
People here will have to come back for a second injection in 28 days. After that, they'll be good to go as the nationwide travel frenzy begins.
OMAR KHAN Guangzhou, Guangdong Province 'It was precisely one month ago the Guangdong Health Commission announced that 180 thousand people working in high-risk sectors had already received a coronavirus vaccine. And it's exactly that aggressive approach that we've witnessed here today. With China set to welcome its busiest travel period of the year, getting workers here the necessary protection they need ahead of interacting with potentially millions of travelers in the weeks to come, may well prove to be the safest way of getting people home for the holiday. Omar Khan, CGTN, Guangzhou."