China shares rise as healthcare firms gain on vaccination efforts

* SSEC +0.2%, CSI300 +0.2%, HSI +0.8%

* Healthcare shares lead gains on vaccination efforts

* Shares in Hainan-based companies jump on govt support

SHANGHAI, April 8 (Reuters) - China stocks gained on Thursday, as healthcare shares were boosted by a ramp-up of vaccination efforts in the country amid the emergence of a new cluster of infections.

** At the midday break, the Shanghai Composite index was up 0.19% at 3,486.19 points, while the blue-chip CSI300 index gained 0.15%. ** The healthcare sub-index surged 1.45% and the consumer staples sector was up 0.37%, while the real estate index down 1.57%. ** China reported 24 new COVID-19 cases on April 7, with 11 of the new cases were local infections reported in the southwestern Yunnan province. ** The country had administered a total of 145.39 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, as of Tuesday. ** Shares in Chinese real estate developers fell after Beijing said it would push for property tax. Vanke and Gemdale Corp fell 1.8% and 1.6%, respectively.

** The National Development and Reform Commission rolled out new measures to relax market entries in the southern island of Hainan, boosting shares of local firms such as Hainan Haide Capital Management Co.

** Chinese H-shares listed in Hong Kong rose 0.18% to 11,090.36, while the Hang Seng Index was up 0.83% at 28,913.50. ** The smaller Shenzhen index was up 0.22%, the start-up board ChiNext Composite index gained 0.86%, while Shanghai’s tech-focused STAR50 index was flat. ** Around the region, MSCI’s Asia ex-Japan stock index was firmer by 0.34%, while Japan’s Nikkei index was down 0.29%. ** The yuan was quoted at 6.547 per U.S. dollar, 0.05% weaker than the previous close of 6.5435.

Reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel