German expats in China receive first foreign COVID vaccines

China has so far insisted on using only domestically produced vaccines, shunning Western-made vaccines that use newer mRNA technology

Germans living in China began receiving the BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine yesterday, the first such rollout of a foreign corona virus vaccine in a country that has not otherwise approved the use of non-Chinese vaccines even as infections soar.

Under an agreement reached during a visit to Beijing by Chancellor Olaf Scholz in November, Germans aged 12 years and older may receive their first dose or a booster of the BioNTech vaccine at a designated international hospital in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenyang, Guangzhou or Chengdu.

More than 8,000 doses of the BioNTech vaccine, which was developed with Pfizer, have been shipped to China and more than 1,500 people have registered their interest, Germany’s foreign ministry said recently.

About 14,000 German nationals live in China, according to the embassy.

German officials are “trying to expand the offer to other nationalities as well,” its foreign ministry said.

China has so far insisted on using only domestically-produced vaccines, shunning western-made vaccines that use newer mRNA technology.

Earlier, the European Union (EU) offered free COVID-19 vaccines to China. Asked whether Beijing would accept the offer, Mao Ning, spokesperson, Foreign Ministry, China, said that vaccine supplies were adequate.

The arrangement allowing Germans in China to receive the BioNTech vaccine is reciprocal, and Chinese nationals living in Germany can also be vaccinated with China’s SinoVac, a German government spokesperson said last month.

Edits by EP News Bureau


BioNTechCOVID vaccinesmRNA technologySinovac
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