Chinese county kicks off COVID-19 vaccine registration for public use

By Hu Yuwei Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/16 11:15:34

vaccine Photo:VCG

Tangyuan county in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province on Tuesday opened registration for the public to sign up for two doses of the COVID-19 vaccines for 420 yuan ($60) in total, becoming the first region in China to officially open early vaccine accessibility to normal residents.

Local residents can voluntarily vaccinate in designated medical institutions at charge of 420 yuan for two doses per person, including the cost of syringes, injections and insurance, according to an official statement from the county government on Tuesday.

A staff member of the county's epidemic prevention and control office told the Global Times on Wednesday that each local resident is eligible to sign up for the vaccination. But the first vaccines have yet to arrive, and enrollment is underway to gauge the number of people willing to receive doses.

If everyone can get the vaccine finally depends on the number of vaccines procured and the queues, said the staff member.

The local administrative departments shall collect the number of voluntary people from government and state-owned organs, and report it to the county's epidemic prevention and control office, according to the statement.

Other individuals can register for a potential dose directly in the community, the staff member told the Global Times.

Heilongjiang reported two new confirmed coronavirus cases in Suifenhe on Monday and another 24-year-old kindergarten teacher was diagnosed as an asymptomatic COVID-19 case on Tuesday. She is a close contact of a previously confirmed case.

The staff member suggested the county government had started negotiation of the centralized procurement of coronavirus vaccines earlier, not after the sporadic outbreaks recently in the province, and some of local medical workers have been vaccinated for emergency use like other parts across China. 

A vaccine industry insider told the Global Times on Tuesday that vaccine logistic preparedness is strengthened in areas with sporadic COVID-19 outbreaks such as northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Southwest China's Sichuan Province, areas that will possibly be the first to receive the vaccine.


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