Expats not eligible for 1st round of vaccination

Writer: Zhang Yu  |  Editor: Holly Wang  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2021-01-11

A medical worker prepares a shot of COVID-19 vaccine. Nanfang Plus

Foreigners as well as Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan residents who live in Shenzhen and want to make personal appointments are not included into the city’s first round of COVID-19 vaccinations, which are being administered among nine high-risk groups, according to the city’s health commission.

The government will not discriminate against foreigners in terms of vaccine availability, but all procedures need to be completed as required by the national policy and guidelines, an official with the commission told Shenzhen Daily on Friday.

On Dec. 26, the city’s health commission launched a reservation platform on its official WeChat account “jkshenzhen” to accept personal reservations from students studying overseas and people going abroad for business and for private purposes for the inoculation.

The free COVID-19 vaccine shots for this group are available at five community health centers starting from Dec. 28.

The other eight high-risk groups also eligible to receive the shots include medical staff and workers in the cold chain industry, cross-border inspection staff and public transportation employees. Appointments for their vaccinations should be made by organizations representing them.

“Expats who fall into the eight high-risk groups are able to register for a dose through the organizations they work for,” said Wang Ling, head of the publicity department of the commission.

Wang said the vaccination work in Shenzhen is carried out step by step according to the arrangements of higher authorities. COVID-19 vaccinations will be expanded to the general public after the vaccines are officially launched and the supply increases.

“I’m very impressed with the kindness the government and the Chinese people are showing. It shows the true humanitarian heart of China that it is willing to share and even in many cases offering the vaccine to other countries and foreign expats living in China,” said Kevin Arvidson, an American entrepreneur residing in the city.

Arvidson told Shenzhen Daily that he will be honored to get his vaccine in Shenzhen once the high-risk groups and those need it more than him have been vaccinated.

Danielle Arvesen, a foreign teacher who works in Nanshan District, also said she is willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available for expats.

“Since I have stage-4 cancer, I need to make sure I’m protected from this potentially deadly, upper respiratory illness. At present, I’m strong and healthy, but I don’t know how my body would respond if I were to become infected with COVID-19,” Arvesen said.