COVID-19 vaccine China
While people are still lining up to be tested in China, others are already being vaccinated in their home cities. Source: Greg Baker/AFP

Good news for residents of Shanghai: everyone leaving to work or study abroad will receive the COVID-19 vaccine in China. You may make an appointment at any community health centre in the city from Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021 onwards, according to the municipal government announcement. Here’s what we know so far.

Who is covered?

All residents of Shanghai with permanent residence (or “hukou,” as it is known in China) and residence permits who are travelling overseas for work or study before February 12 (Spring Festival) are entitled to this vaccine. You must be between the ages of 18 and 59 to qualify. Expatriates and international students in China are not covered at press time.

How to make an appointment?

There are 17 community health centres across the city. You may receive your vaccine at any of these centres, as long as you first book your slot on the mobile phone app Jiankangyun. Remember to book well ahead of your intended departure as the COVID-19 vaccine in China comes in two injections; you will receive a second shot 14 days after the first one. According to the Global Times, one session takes around 50 minutes, including a 30-minute medical observation period after injection.

Last but not least, remember to bring the necessary documents along to prove your eligibility on vaccination day. This includes your identity card or passport, valid visas, and flight tickets.

Availability of COVID-19 vaccine in China

The COVID-10 vaccine in China is produced locally, and the country has started vaccinating ahead of the Lunar New Year, which falls mid-February his year. Mass vaccinations are now underway for nine key groups, including essential workers and residents travelling abroad. China’s mass migration during last year’s Lunar New Year celebrations marked the beginning of the pandemic. Therefore, the Chinese government aims to vaccinate 50 million people in major cities ahead of the 2021 Spring Festival Holidays.