Beijing OKs COVID-19 vaccine boosters ahead of 2022 Winter Olympics

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Oct. 22 (UPI) — Many residents in the Chinese capital of Beijing are now able to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose — a little more than three months before the city hosts the 2022 Winter Olympic Games, officials said Friday.

Officials said adults over 18 who have previously received a two-dose Chinese-made vaccine — and are in a high-risk group — are eligible for a booster dose. The extra shot must be given at least six months after the last dose.

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Organizers, participants and workers at Olympic venues are included in the high-risk group.

No foreign spectators will be allowed to attend any event at the Winter Games, but Chinese residents will be permitted at the venues.

Officials said they decided to authorize the boosters in Beijing due to the upcoming Olympics and the winter months, when transmission can increase among people staying indoors.

Before Beijing, more than a dozen regions in China began to offer booster doses. The country offers three vaccines — from CanSino Biologics, Sinovac and Sinopharm.

Officials say 97% of adults living in Beijing are vaccinated.

The Beijing Winter Olympics will begin Feb. 4 and run through Feb. 20.

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