Image copyright Getty Images Image caption COVID vaccine will replace most other vaccines in China’s one-child policy
China will give free vaccines to children in low-income households.
The country’s state broadcaster reports that the three-month-old COVID vaccination would replace more than 90% of current vaccines, except for routine immunisations.
The initiative is the first country to roll out the vaccine for children before they reach age three.
China has a widespread one-child policy, banning most couples from having more than one child in an effort to control the population.
The new COVID vaccine is the first novel antigen vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough) and hepatitis B.
It will help protect children from potentially deadly diseases and strengthen China’s paxivirus-based vaccination programme, the state-run China Daily reports.
China is already home to the world’s largest number of patients for vaccines, with nearly 2.3 million children under 15 receiving an immunisation dose in 2016, according to US health journal Lancet.
There were 30,262 deaths and 167,380 illnesses from adverse childhood reactions in China in 2016.
Paxivirus is a pneumococcal vaccine developed by China and the European Union, which uses the pneumococcal polysaccharide to protect children from invasive pneumococcal diseases.
Vaccine prices are high in China as the government requires them to be given for free to residents.
The COVID vaccine itself is free in China but to be effective children will need up to three boosters each year.