Shanghai rolls out COVID-19 vaccination for local expats

Chen Huizhi
Foreigners have to register on a mobile phone application "Health Cloud" to make reservations for their shots at a scheduled time at designated venues in each district.
Chen Huizhi

Shanghai launched COVID-19 vaccination for local expatriates on Monday.

Foreigners have to register on a mobile phone application “Health Cloud,” or Jian Kang Yun, to make reservations for their shots at a scheduled time at designated venues in each district.

Registering through the WeChat app “Health Cloud” takes only a few minutes, but by noon Monday, April appointments for some vaccination clinics had already filled up.

People can choose a clinic in the district where they either work or live, and there are two to three vaccination clinics in each of the city's districts open to foreigners.

Since registering requires uploading pictures of people's permanent resident ID cards or the first page of their passports and valid permits of stay or residence, they can save time by storing the required pictures in their phones before filling out the digital form.

If the clinic they choose has no appointments available, they can cancel the registration and try other clinics – in which case they do not have to reenter the information because it is already there.

Shanghai rolls out COVID-19 vaccination for local expats
Ma Xuefeng / SHINE

Navin Williams, an Indian living and working in Shanghai, makes an appointment to get vaccinated against COVID-19 on Monday.

Navin Williams, chief executive officer of Mobile Measure, a market research company, made an appointment with Zhuanqiao Community Health Service Center in Minhang District where he lives. He will go there for the vaccination on Wednesday afternoon.

When he made his appointment at 11:35am, 24 people could be vaccinated from 1:30pm to 2pm on Wednesday, and 16 appointments were available from 2pm to 2:30pm.

Ravi Shankar Bose, director of Fugumobile Limited, who lives and works in Jing'an District, was not so lucky.

When he tried to make an appointment today around noon, he found two clinics were available on the app, one closer to the city center and one farther. 

He first tried the clinic closer to the city center, which offers vaccination for expats on Tuesday afternoons, but none were available in April. He then discovered there were no appointments available at the other clinic either. 

The two expats, both from India, think it is important to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Given the fact that I have been living and working here for 20 years, it's important for me to get vaccinated here since the Shanghai government has started administering vaccinations,” said Bose, adding that his wife and child who live here with him also want to get vaccinated.

Shanghai rolls out COVID-19 vaccination for local expats
Ma Xuefeng / SHINE

Navin Williams makes his vaccination appointment.

He said he hopes the government will add more clinics or time slots for foreigners to get vaccinated.

“As a resident here for 13 years, I think it would help get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and it’s important for all of us to get vaccinated,” said Williams.

Williams’ wife works as a teacher in the city and is classified as an essential worker to get vaccinated, so she got her two shots in January and February.

“She had no side effects. She went back to work the second day after the vaccination and everything has been normal ever since,” he said. “Some of her colleagues said they had pain in their arms for a few hours, but she didn’t hear anything more serious than that.”

When Williams made his appointment, there was a glitch in the process. The details of his appointment shown in the app in English indicated it was at another vaccination clinic, but the name and address of the clinic confirmed to him through a SMS message in Chinese corresponded to the one he chose during the registration process – as did the information in the "registration and appointment records" section of the app.

Shanghai Daily contacted health authorities about his case and was told the name and address of the clinic shown in the SMS message is correct.

When Bose tried to make an appointment, the app displayed “network error,” but the appointment page showed up on his second try. Williams was able to access the appointment page on his first try.

Shanghai rolls out COVID-19 vaccination for local expats

People can scan the above code to access the registration app.

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