Shanghai the first to announce COVID-19 vaccine inoculation plan for foreigners in China
Published: Mar 23, 2021 10:04 PM


Foreigners in Shanghai who meet the requirement will be eligible to take domestic made COVID-19 vaccines, municipal authorities announced on Tuesday night, making Shanghai the first Chinese city to publicize inoculation plan for foreigners. The move has sparked heated discussions on whether more cities would follow suit.

Foreigners in Shanghai who want to be vaccinated can make an online appointment through the "Health Cloud" app to register starting Monday. Shanghai is using domestic two-dose inactivated vaccines. 

Foreigners who have social insurance in Shanghai will enjoy same policy as Chinese nationals. People who do not have medical insurance need to take vaccines at their own expense, about 100 yuan ($15.4) per dose.

They need to take their permanent residence identity card or passport or valid residence permit to the designated sites after successful registration and follow the process such as signing an informed consent and a disclaimer of undertaking. 

Healthcare professionals will determine whether they are eligible for the vaccination based on the information they have been given, authorities said.

About 882,000 people in Shanghai have their second COVID-19 vaccination and about 836,000 people have had their first dose as of Sunday, according to the Shanghai Health Commission.

After Shanghai announced the policy, the public has been discussing whether more Chinese cities, such as Beijing and Guangzhou which have large expat communities, will follow suit. 

A British education consultant who works in Beijing told the Global Times that he has been waiting for such a policy since his Chinese friends were able to get vaccinated. "Getting vaccinated will make me feel safer if I need to fly international in the future. I am young and need to wait a long time to get a vaccine in my home country," Chris said. 

But a Filipino said he would listen to World Health Organization (WHO) advisory and is not in a hurry. Before the Chinese vaccines are approved by the WHO, he prefers Pfizer and Moderna, which are not available in China so far.

Chinese vaccine producers Sinopharm and Sinovac have submitted materials to the WHO for review, a required step before the organization can recommend it.