Breaking: China offers domestic Covid vaccine to expats...
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China has for the first time offered a Covid-19 vaccination option to diplomats, foreigners working in Chinese companies, foreign students as well as foreign journalists in the country.
Foreigners working in international aid companies have also been given the option to take a shot of a Chinese-made vaccine, HT learnt.
Family members in the age group of 18-59 years are included in the offer.
Beijing rolled out vaccinations for its own citizens, mostly for frontline workers, in health care, customs and specific industries that the government selected under emergency laws in July last year, but it was for the first time, earlier this month, that the government reached out to foreign missions, companies and journalists through the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs.
The vaccine being offered is the inactivated Sars-CoV-2 vaccine, developed by Sinopharm’s China National Biotec Group, which has been granted conditional market approval by China’s National Medical Products Administration.
The two shots - the second to be taken after 21 days - will cost about 90-100 yuan each.
Some diplomats, said they were weighing the option whether to take the shot.
Indians working in the service industries such as restaurants have also been offered the option though their employers.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is yet to approve the vaccine, or for that matter, any of the other four jabs given the green signal by the Chinese government.
A Chinese foreign ministry email to expat journalists sent out on Wednesday outlined the offer.
“In order to facilitate the work and life of foreign journalists based in Beijing, the information department of the ministry of foreign affairs will provide facilitation and assistance for the vaccination of foreign journalists in Beijing (including their accompanying family members) who are within the eligible age group (from 18 to 59 years old),” the notice said.
“Recipients will receive vaccination on a voluntary basis with informed consent, pay for the relevant expenses, and bear related risks,” it added.
The government notice said experiments showed that inactivated Covid-19 vaccines were relatively safe, but that’s no guarantee against vaccine-related reaction.
“Prior to inoculation, all recipients should read carefully the Covid-19 inactivated vaccine information consent, and confirm that they are fully aware of the possible adverse reactions and do not have contraindications to vaccination,” the notice said.
The notice added that existing clinical research data show that most people produce antibodies “against Covid-19 after vaccination, but no vaccine can be 100% effective”.
“Therefore, recipients will still need to comply with all the prevention and control requirements after vaccination, and take personal protective measures such as mask-wearing, frequent hand-washing, social distancing, and reducing group activities,” the notice said.
China is yet to approve any Covid-19 vaccine developed by Western drug makers; five domestic ones are currently approved in China.
China, according to government officials at a press briefing on Monday in Beijing, has administered 64.98 million doses of vaccines.
Foreign students vaccinated in Wuhan
Pakistani student Muhammad Sultan Irshad takes his first shot of COVID-19 vaccine at the campus hospital in Hubei University in Wuhan, Hubei province on Tuesday. Provided to chinadaily.com
Pakistani student Muhammad Sultan Irshad got his first shot of COVID-19 vaccine at the campus hospital of Hubei University in Wuhan, Hubei province, on Tuesday. He was one of 12 foreign students at the university who volunteered to get vaccinated that day.
"Today, foreign students and teachers were vaccinated free of charge, based on the needs of prevention and control of COVID-19," he said.
"The staff members were so kind and served us very gracefully. Around 100 Chinese people were also there for vaccination. I can see the sense of satisfaction on their faces."
There are 30 international students at the university living in Wuhan, with 15 of them inoculated with a domestically made vaccine by Wednesday, the university said. The vaccination is voluntary.
"China proved its sense of responsibility and tremendous hospitality.
The local international community is cordially thankful for this act of professionalism and the way the country ensured our safety and offered protection just like treating their own citizens," Irshad said.
in the city, Wuhan University released a notice calling on foreign
students to make appointments for COVID-19 vaccination on Tuesday
afternoon, with a QR code to scan and a form to fill out online.
About 100 of its 230 foreign students applied within an hour, and family members of some students asked whether they could get vaccinated too. It shows their confidence in the anti-epidemic efforts of the Chinese government and Chinese vaccines, said Xu Hui, vice-president of the university's School of International Education, adding that vaccinations for foreign students will be organized on Thursday and Friday.
The School of International Education at Wuhan Textile University said it now has 12 foreign students in the city, nine of whom applied for vaccination. Six have been vaccinated. Another inoculation will be organized for the three others, it said.
People aged 18 to 59 in Wuhan have been allowed to apply for COVID-19 vaccine inoculation at designated community health service centers and hospitals since March 12, according to local authorities.
Wednesday, 15 out of 30 international students at the Hubei University
had been inoculated with a domestically made vaccine, according to the
university. [Provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Any foreigner with a passport can apply to get vaccinated in Wuhan, according to a community hospital conducting vaccination.
More than 500,000 people in the city have had their first shot, and
about 100,000 have finished two doses, data from the local health
Yang Xiaobing, director of the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and
Prevention's infectious disease prevention and control department, told
Changjiang Daily that the city has a sufficient supply of COVID-19
vaccines and all service is free.
Editor's note: For information on where, how and who can take Covid-19 vaccine in Wuhan, please check out this article: Wuhan Opens 15 Centers for Free Covid-19 Vaccination
Source: By ZHOU LIHUA,LIU KUN and CHEN MEILING | China Daily;
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