How successful are Chinese vaccination programmes?

Chinese vaccination rates are claimed to be a great success, but is that the whole picture? Every country has its own challenges to deal and China’s include the vast size of the country, mass migration into cities and the birth of 15 million children a year. Their goal is 90% vaccination coverage. Have they achieved it? Reporter Madeleine Finlay has just been to a symposium in London on vaccination programmes in China, and she reports back for Health Check.

Thanks to a vigorous vaccination campaign that started in the 1960s, Taiwan has, like all but three countries in the world, succeeded in eradicating polio. There has been no polio infection there since 1983, but there are still survivors of polio who contracted the virus before that time. Some of them belong to the Chinese Taipei City Wheelchair Dance Sport Association and often get together to take part in wheelchair ballroom dancing. BBC’s Cindy Sui went to visit wheelchair dancers Vincent Kuo and Ivy Huang, who told her how dancing even helped them find love.

What advice would you give your younger self? Psychologists at Clemson University in the US surveyed nearly 200 over 30 year olds asking this very question. Their answers fell into three main categories; things they wish they had done differently about the way they thought of themselves, choices concerning education and choices about relationships. Professor of Psychology Robin Kowalski was lead author of the study, which has just been published in the Journal of Social Psychology.

(Photo caption: A child receiving a vaccination shot at a hospital in China - credit: Getty Images)

Health Check was presented by Claudia Hammond with comments from BBC Health and Science correspondent, James Gallagher.

Producer: Helena Selby
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