Reservations being taken for COVID-19 vaccine in Beijing, Wuhan: media reports
Global Times

A staff member tests samples of the COVID-19 inactivated vaccine at a vaccine production plant of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) in Beijing, capital of China, April 11, 2020. (Photo:Xinhua)

State-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) has launched an online reservation system for people seeking the company’s COVID-19 vaccine in Beijing and Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei Province, media reported on Monday.

Students who will travel abroad are among the priority groups being offered the Sinopharm coronavirus shot, according to the reports.

Posts on Chinese social media on Monday indicate Chinese students who are planning to travel abroad from November to January 2021 will be eligible to receive the shot.

More than 70,000 people have made reservations for the COVID-19 vaccine, according to media report on Monday.

"We attach great importance to the students who study aboard, and hope to provide effective, safe and comprehensive insurance in line with the law,” a source close to Sinopharm who asked not to be identified told the Global Times on Monday.

Students who study abroad, overseas staff and frontline workers are entitled to “urgent use” of the vaccine.

Sinopharm has not responded to a request for confirmation as of press time on Monday.

"I was informed by the visa agency in mid-September that we can make an appointment for Sinopharm vaccine shots in Beijing," an employee at an internet company in Beijing told the Global Times on condition of anonymity.

"There are two shots, costing 2,600 yuan," he said, noting that shortly before the National Day holidays he was offered the Sinopharm vaccine.

His job requires  him to travel overseas countries, including to India, which currently has the world's second-highest recorded COVID-19 infections.

"In our trade, you never know when the company needs you out there. You can also go overseas without the vaccine, but that's another story. And taking COVID-19 vaccines needs some time, so I am following the development closely," the person said.

Though the source close to Sinopharm claimed that there is still no exact timetable for groups taking emergency use vaccines, at the China International Fair for Trade in Services in September, the company has taken “reservations for vaccines.”

The Chinese vaccine developer has two vaccine products that have already entered Phase III trial tests covering sample groups in 125 countries, according to Sinopharm. In line with the laws and regulations, the company received approval for emergency use of the vaccine on July 22.