How do foreigners – including diplomats – in China feel about taking COVID-19 vaccines?
Published: Mar 25, 2021 04:12 PM

Maxim Shishkov, from Russia, gets COVID-19 vaccinated in Shanghai. Photo: Courtesy of Maxim Shishkov

A Russinan gets vaccinated for COVID-19 in Shanghai. Photo: Courtesy of the interviewee

Shanghai has become the first Chinese city to announce a plan for foreigners to take COVID-19 vaccines, city authorities stated Tuesday night; those who meet the relevant requirements will be eligible to receive Chinese-made vaccines, sparking discussion among China's expat communities.

Several foreigners reached by the Global Times in Shanghai expressed excitement with the city's new plan. 

Marco, a Shanghai-based Mexican who has worked in China for nine years, told the Global Times on Wednesday that he is happy to get the doses. When asked about whether he has any concerns over the real-name reservation as some others, Marco replied: "Not me!"

Mazooz from France told the Global Times on Wednesday that he had already registered to the French chamber of commerce in Shanghai a few months ago. "I'm waiting because I think many people long to get vaccinated as well and if it would be mandatory in the next few months to travel out of China." 

Steve from the UK told the Global Times on Wednesday that he personally wouldn't opt to take a vaccine, mainly "because the statistics show that the chances of me having any serious issues with COVID-19 are very small."

Adam from the US who has been in China for two years told the Global Times on Wednesday that he would take the vaccine as he thought it will become more and more available; "Foreigners could maybe travel back to their home countries and return if they wanted to." 

Adam admitted that "it's wise to be here (in China)," as the virus has been controlled in China and the country has really done a good job to curb the virus. Will from the UK also expressed his willingness to take the vaccine as he wants to travel in the future.

They expressed their hope to go back home countries to see their families as their first priority when travel restrictions are eventually lifted. 

Along with expats living in Shanghai, some diplomats also expressed their willingness to take the vaccines.

Hüseyin Emre Engin, Consul General of Turkey in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Thursday that he and his family will receive COVID-19 vaccines in Shanghai.

"We consider it's a very positive initiative from the local authorities and our personnel will surely take part in it," Pablo Obregon, Consul General of the Argentine Republic in Shanghai told the Global Times on Thursday.

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

Foreigners who have social insurance in Shanghai will enjoy the same free policy as Chinese nationals. People who do not have medical insurance need to take vaccines at their own expense, about 100 yuan ($15.37) per dose.