All countries are facing decisions about which groups to prioritise for COVID-19 vaccination after the first vaccine product has been licensed, at which time supply shortages are inevitable. Here we define the key target populations and their size in China for a phased introduction of COVID-19 vaccination with evolving goals, accounting for the risk of illness and transmission. Essential workers (47.2 million) like healthcare workers could be prioritized for vaccination to maintain essential services. Subsequently, older adults, individuals with underlying health conditions and pregnant women (616.0 million) could be targeted to reduce severe COVID-19 outcomes. Then it could be further extended to target adults without underlying health conditions and children (738.7 million) to reduce symptomatic infections and/or to stop virus transmission. The proposed framework could assist Chinese policy-makers in the design of a vaccination program, and could be generalized to inform other national and regional COVID-19 vaccination strategies.
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