>Overseas vaccine production
To date, China has provided vaccine assistance to more than 80 developing countries and exported COVID-19 doses to over 40 nations, said Mao Junfeng, an official from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. These efforts came despite limited production capacity in China and huge domestic demand for vaccines.
"Chinese vaccine companies have been working 24 hours a day at full throttle to speed up production," Mao said.
China has already provided more than 350 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccines overseas, and the nation is trying its best to assist the global fight against the pandemic, Mao said. "To enhance global vaccine supply, three Chinese companies have cooperated with eight countries to manufacture vaccines locally. And they are also discussing joint production plans with 10 additional countries," Mao said.
The ministry will support qualified Chinese pharmaceutical companies in strengthening international cooperation in vaccine production and expanding the accessibility and affordability of vaccines, he said.
>Law revision promotes vocational education
A draft revision to the law on vocational education was presented for deliberation for the first time on Monday at the ongoing session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.
Proposing vocational education should enjoy equal importance to general education, the draft calls for leveraging the principal role of enterprises in vocational education and encouraging social participation.
It stipulates giving greater autonomy to vocational schools in their operations, thus promoting the quality and level of education.
The draft also defines further efforts to strengthen the teacher workforce and improve the mechanism for funding in vocational education.
The current Vocational Education Law was put into effect in September 1996.
>Medical resources channeled to hinterland
China will establish regional health centers this year in 12 provincial-level regions in the central and western parts of the country, where high-quality medical resources are relatively scarce, an official said at a news conference on Monday. Sun Zhicheng, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission, noted such centers will cover all provincial-level regions of China by the end of 2022.
The first batch of regional health centers has been established in eight provinces, with each center having 1,500 beds for patients on average, Sun said, adding the centers have helped cultivate local medical workers and improve medical services in the regions.
“Regional health centers” refers to branches set up by some top hospitals in areas with fewer high-quality medical resources.
>Covid vaccine stickers in dating apps
UK online daters will be able to choose to display a badge on their profiles to show if they have been vaccinated against Covid or support the jab drive.
Tinder, Match, and Hinge have all signed up to the scheme, in partnership with the UK government.
Some of the apps are including additional incentives for those who say they are vaccinated - such as free credits or access to premium features that usually cost extra, like profile boosts, virtual rose giving and "super likes".
However there will be no way of verifying whether those displaying the badge have genuinely had the vaccine.
A recent YouGov poll of nearly 5,000 UK adults found that only 28% of those who responded said they would not date someone unvaccinated, with 2% saying they would not date someone who had received the jab.
The government says around 40 million people have received at least one of the two doses so far.
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