Calling all expats: Please get your jabs

Tian Shengjie Cai Wenjun Hu Min
Expatriates in Shanghai can be vaccinated against COVID-19 from next Monday, the local health commission announced on Tuesday. Here is a Q&A about what expats may want to know.
Tian Shengjie Cai Wenjun Hu Min

Expatriates in Shanghai can be vaccinated against COVID-19 from next Monday, the Shanghai Health Commission announced on Tuesday. 

Here is a Q&A about what expats may want to know.

Q: Is the vaccination mandatory?

A: No.

Q: How much should I pay for the vaccine?

A: Expats who have Chinese social insurance will get the shots for free while others have to pay 100 yuan (US$15) per dose.

Q: How many doses should I take?

A: The vaccination drive is in two steps, with an interval of at least 14 days. It should be given on the deltoid. Random adjustment of inoculation procedures will probably affect the vaccines' safety, effect and duration of immunization.

Q: How can I book the vaccination?

A: First, you should register for the service by scanning the “Jiankangyun” QR code (below).

Calling all expats: Please get your jabs
Ti Gong

Then you will receive a message of confirmation, including the venue and time for the shot.

Finally, you should visit the designated place at the allotted time, carry your permanent residency identity cards or passports, and valid residence permits.

Q: What should I do on the day of vaccination?

A: You have to fill the consent form and disclaimer before taking the vaccination. A doctor at the site will decide if you are fit for the vaccine after determining your health condition.

After vaccination, you will be put under observation for 30 minutes. If you feel well during the period, you can leave.

Q: What should I do after the injection?

A: You should pay attention to your health condition for the next 14 days after the shot. In case of serious adverse reaction, people should go to hospital immediately.

The spot of the injection should be kept clean and dry. You should have a bland diet, rest well and drink more water, but no alcohol, for a week after the injection.

Q: What are the common adverse reactions?

A: Most adverse reactions for vaccination are light and temporary, including swelling in the place of injection or light fever. These will improve one or two days after drinking plenty of water and having a good rest. It is important that a person provide medical staff with his or her true health condition before receiving the jab.

Q: Who are better advised not to take the vaccine?

A: The following groups in the current stage:

1. People who are allergic to any substance of vaccines and who have shown serious allergic symptoms such as acute allergy, urticaria, eczema, expiratory dyspnea, angioneurotic edema and abdominal pain to vaccines in the past.

2. Those with fever, acute disease, serious chronic disease and who are in the acute stage of chronic disease.

3. Those in pregnancy or lactation period or with pregnancy plan within three months of the vaccination.

4. People who have a history of convulsions, epilepsy, brain or mental diseases or have such history in their families. Patients with uncontrollable epilepsy or nervous system diseases, or a history of guillain-barre syndrome.

5. Those who have been diagnosed with congenital or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, HIV infection, lymphoma, leukemia, or other autoimmune diseases.

6. Confirmed or suspected cases of serious respiratory diseases, severe cardiovascular diseases, liver and kidney diseases or malignant tumor.

7. Those who use immunomodulators such as anti-tumor drugs.

8. Those who have a history of COVID-19 virus infection.

9. Anyone who is deemed not proper to take the vaccination by clinicians.

Q: What are the vaccines used in Shanghai?

A: They are inactivated virus vaccines. Using chemical means, they curb infection and replication of the COVID-19 virus, and trigger human immune response activity.

The vaccines are based on traditional and classic vaccine preparation methods, which originate in mature and reliable research and development.

Compared with other technical means, the inactivated virus vaccine R&D is mature and its manufacturing technique stable. Its quality standard can be controlled and it provides good protection. It can be mass produced, and its safety and effectiveness are recognized internationally.

Q: What is the vaccine composition?

A:  Inactivated virus, sodium chloride, aluminum hydroxide, disodium hydrogen phosphate, sodium dihydrogen phosphate and so on.

Q: How long will the protection remain?

A: Novel coronavirus was discovered less than a year ago, so the immunity durability of inactivated vaccines is still under observation. Current evidence shows the protection will remain for at least six months.

Q: Can people still contract COVID-19 after receiving vaccination?

A: According to the result of double-blind phase-I and phase-II clinical trials of the inactivated vaccine used in this round of inoculation, there are high antibody responses, with over 90 percent antibody positive rate. The phase-III clinical trial conducted by multiple countries have also further testified the effects.

However, no vaccine can achieve a 100 percent protection rate. A small number of people may not develop protection after receiving the vaccine or still develop the disease. These are related to the vaccine’s own features and the person's physical condition.

Q: Is the vaccine effective against mutated COVID-19 virus or viruses from other countries?

A: Cross-neutralization tests on known mutated COVID-19 virus strains and strains from countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia and Austria show that this inactivated vaccine can completely neutralize the viruses. The vaccine is effective against both mutated virus and viruses from other countries.

Q: Will nucleic acid tests be positive after receiving the vaccination?

A: No. Nucleic acid test checks the antigen of coronavirus. This vaccine is inactivated vaccine, which means a killed pathogenic micro-organism that has completely lost the ability of infection and reproduction. So people won’t catch coronavirus through vaccination.

Q: Is it necessary to wear masks after vaccination?

A: Wearing a mask, keeping social distance and good personal hygiene are always necessary, even after receiving vaccination.

Places to get COVID-19 vaccination in Shanghai

Calling all expats: Please get your jabs
Tian Shengjie / SHINE
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