China is broadening its vaccination programme to people from Macao who live on the mainland, the National Health Commission (NHC) has announced.
Macao residents who join the free and voluntary vaccination programme on the mainland will be treated the same as mainlanders. To qualify, they must provide proof of a residence permit issued by the Public Security Bureau or a mainland medical insurance scheme. The scheme is also open to Hong Kongers who live in the mainland, the South China Morning Post reported.
The NHC has not stated which vaccine will be given to Macao residents, although four – made by Sinovac Biotech, Sinopharm, CanSino Biologics and Wuhan Institute of Biological Products (an affiliate of Sinopharm) – have been approved for public use in China.
Vaccine recipients who have an adverse response to the jab will receive the same treatment and compensation available to local residents.
The Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said the Covid-19 vaccines were safe for patients with a history of allergies. Under the latest guidelines, only people with a history of serious reactions to vaccines or ingredients used in the dose were advised not to get a jab.
Residents who choose not to join the current inoculation drive may have to pay for the jabs in future, the NHC said.
China’s vaccination programme is open to people aged over 18. The country has previously excluded seniors from inoculation, saying there was not sufficient trial data for the elderly, but since 1 April China’s vaccination drive has been open to adults over 60.
In China, nearly 142 million doses had been administered by Monday, or about one dose for every 10 people. The country aims to inoculate 40 per cent of the population – about 560 million people – by June. As China scales up its vaccination programme, major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai have expanded their inoculation drive to include foreigners.