However, they’d have to bear the costs and risks themselves, says local authorities
Expatriates working in Shanghai can now volunteer to get the COVID-19 vaccine. However, expats have to bear the costs and risks linked to getting the shots, revealed local authorities.
From Monday (March 29), expats in the bustling global business hub, can get access to the vaccine and book their appointments online. The government did not reveal which vaccine brand will be given but those who have opted into Shanghai’s public medical insurance scheme can get access to the shots free of charge, just like Chinese citizens.
Those who aren’t covered by the national insurance will have to pay US$15.30 per dose, reported the South China Morning Post. Authorities advised those who got the vaccine to pay attention to their health 14 days after the shots and to head to the hospital if they experienced extreme and persistent side effects.
American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai (AmCham Shanghai) are likely one of the organisations to welcome the move. AmCham’s COVID Taskforce has been working on behalf of its members to encourage the government to support expats and family members living in the city. Before the announcement, AmChan had urged the Chinese authorities to offer equal access to vaccine.
“Shanghai is the leading destination for foreign businesses and home to the most international business community in China,” wrote AmChan. “While we support efforts to prioritise vaccine distribution, we urge criteria be not based on nationality and that foreigners are provided equal access to the vaccines.”
Malaysia is another country that had offered expats and their families vaccinations free of charge, reported New Straits Times. This was announced back in February, following the local COVID-19 committee’s statement that the country has ‘adequate supply’ of vaccines – much more than the estimated number of Malaysians who are eligible to receive the necessary two doses. “However, priority will be given to Malaysians,” they said.
In Singapore, PRs, persons on Long Term Visitor Pass, Employment Pass, S Pass, work permit and dependant pass holders are all eligible for the free vaccination service.