"Everyone is responsible for the prevention and control of the epidemic, and vaccination starts with me!" read one notice issued this week by Dingnan county in Jiangxi province, which is home to about 220,000 people. The notice added that "in principal" unvaccinated residents would be denied access to schools, public transport and medical facilities, among other amenities and services, starting from July 26.
The push by local governments to boost vaccination rates comes as the ruling Communist Party outlined its goal of achieving so-called "herd immunity" -- the point at which enough people have either been infected or vaccinated to end community transmission -- by December this year.
Shao Yiming, an epidemiologist with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told state media that given the protection rate of Chinese vaccines is below 100%, China will need to fully vaccinate 80% to 85% of residents, equivalent to 1 billion of the country's 1.4 total population, in order to meet the December deadline.