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Global Times

Beijing starts COVID-19 vaccine inoculation for expats

Global Times

By Global Times Published: Mar 26, 2021 11:16 PM

China's capital city of Beijing has started COVID-19 inoculation for expatriates living in the city, the city's authorities announced on Friday. The city is now the second in China to include foreign nationals in its inoculation plan after Shanghai, which announced its plans on Tuesday night.

Like Shanghai, Beijing will offer two doses of domestic inactivated vaccines. Foreign nationals aged above 18 years old will be eligible for the vaccination, according to the announcement.

The vaccination is on a voluntary basis. Foreign nationals who have joined Beijing's social insurance scheme can get the vaccine for free; those who haven't need to pay 93.5 yuan ($14.3) per dose.

Foreigners who would like to get the vaccine should make an appointment through their employers or the communities they live in.

When making appointments, foreign nationals need to provide valid documents. They also need to present their passports and valid residence permits at the vaccination site. Before the vaccination, they need to sign a consent form.

After taking the second dose, foreigners can download or print their COVID-19 vaccination certificate.

Expatriates living in the cities have welcomed the move, telling the Global Times that they would like to take the jab. The Global Times also learned that some expats in the two cities including diplomats and foreign reporters have received the jab already.

As of Thursday, a total of 91.346 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across China, China's Health Commission reported on Friday.

China kicked off its mass inoculation campaign in January, and entered the fast track recently with the vaccines being expanded to ordinary people, including those aged above 60. The Global Times learnt from a source that at a mobilization conference held by the State Council on March 22, China set itself the vaccination target of covering about 40 percent of the population by around June.

It is hoped that China will reach 70 percent to 80 percent coverage of inoculation with the COVID-19 vaccine, basically achieving herd immunity by the beginning of 2022, or even by the end of 2021, China's CDC Director Gao Fu told the media.

Some Chinese communities have adopted incentive measures such as shopping coupons to boost residents' willingness to have the vaccination. The Health Commission also started a daily report mechanism on Sunday to release the national inoculation data every day.

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