HPV vaccine
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HPV Vaccine Availability Expanded and Other Trending News

Cinema labels 37-year-olds “elderly,” drunk driver drags victim along for one kilometer, doctors warn against mixing herbal medicine with coffee, serial exam-taker plans 15th re-sit—it’s Viral Week

Movie theatre calls people born in 1985 “elderly”

A cinema in Hebei provincecourted ridicule after they identified people born between 1970 and 1985 (around 52 to 37 years old) as “elderly” in a marketing campaign. A post on the cinema’s WeChat account stated that movie-goers could bring along these “elderly...family members” to see the film Into the Dust for free. Many netizens reacted with ridicule online, while others lamented that they were already considered old. A cinema empolyee later told The Paper that the age range was meant as a joke, but the intention was to have “younger generations take [their parents] to see a film like this.” The cinema has since deleted the origional post, and deleted “elderly” in an updated announcement.

HPV vaccine coverage expands to cover women aged 9 to 45

An announcement from the National Medical Products Administration on August 30 went viral as it noted that the age of woman eligible for the 9-valent vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV) would be expanded from those between 16 and 26 to those aged 9 to 45. The vaccine against HPV, a virus that can cause cervical cancer, had been restricted to 16 to 26 year olds since it was introduced on the Chinese mainland in 2018. Health professionals and netizens welcomed the news, though many experts are still concerned about limited stocks of the vaccine available.

Space rice begins to grow

On August 29, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) showed footage of sprouting rice and thale cress that astronauts from the Shenzhou-14 mission planted in the Wentian laboratory cabin module aboard China’s Tiangong space station one month ago. Some rice plants reached as tall as 30 centimeters. CAS hopes these plants can go through a whole life cycle in space, before being brought back to earth for analysis.

Hairdresser angry with woman who refused to be livestreamed

A woman surnamed Zhou in Wuhan, Hubei province, objected to being livestreamed while having a haircut, drawing frustration from her hairdresser who refused to end the filming. Video footage shows four mobile phones surrounding the woman, apparently without her permission, before the hairdresser admonishes her for being “behind the times” when she objects to the filming. “Livestreaming is routine now. Why should regular people be afraid?” the hairdresser says; “other clients are happy for the opportunity to be featured.” The news went viral on social media, garnering over 250 million views on Weibo in days. Some netizens complained about similar experiences in hair salons and other public spaces.

Serial exam-taker refuses prestigious university offer; plans to re-take for 15th time

Tang Shangjun, a 34-year-old man from Guangxi who has sat the College Entrance Exam (gaokao) 14 times and earlier claimed this year’s would be his final one, rejected an enrollment offer from the prestigious Shanghai Jiaotong University because he doesn’t like his designated nursing major—Tang now says he may sit the gaokao again next year. Previously, Tang claimed he was set on entering Tsinghua University, one of the top institutions in the country, and has refused offers from many other prestigious schools including Guangxi University, Jilin University, and China University of Political Science and Law.

Doctors warn against trendy herbal medicine and coffee drink

Health professionals have warned against a growing online trend of blending the Chinese herbal formula Huoxiang Zhengqi Shui, with ice and coffee to make everyday drinks because ingesting too much of the herbal liquid can cause a range of side-effects such as headaches, vomiting, and high blood sugar. Huoxiang Zhengqi Shui is used to treat fever, vomiting, and especially heatstroke. The trend has grown as much of China experienced record heatwaves over the last few weeks.

University head sparks debate on video games

Xu Jiangrong, president of China Jiliang University in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, sparked debate when he claimed that 90 percent of student expulsions were due to video games and “none of them deserve sympathy” during a speech delivered to newly enrolled freshmen. Xu also said that “online video games are the biggest drug on campus” and warned students against “getting into university and immediately relaxing.” Many netizens agreed with Xu that students shouldn’t take university lightly, but others took issue with his criticism of video games: “he should have said: 90 percent of student expulsions are because they don’t have enough self-discipline. Even if there weren’t video games, they find other distractions,” read one comment on Weibo with over 51,000 “likes.”

Drunk driver crashes into bike and drags victim for 1 kilometer

A drunk driver surnamed Xiao in Hunan province committed a hit-and-run when she crashed into a woman on an e-bike and dragged her along for 1 kilometer before police stopped her. When the victim, surnamed Xie, was hit by Xiao’s BMW SUV, her clothes became stuck to the front of the car and she was dragged along as the driver fled the scene. Xie is in hospital in a stable condition, while police detained Xiao pending further investigation.

Unattended luggage flies down escalator and injures passenger

A suitcase slid down an escalator at rapid speed and injured a commuter in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, after two women left their luggage unattended on the moving stairs. The women apparently thought their luggage would be safely and conveniently transported down the moving escalator without them having to hold it. The injured commuter attempted to outrun the fast-moving suitcase but was swept off her feet and crashed into the floor. The woman was filmed being stretchered away but luckily only suffered minor injuries.


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