Q1 What type of vaccine is used in Beijing? How to get inoculated?
The vaccines used in Beijing are inactivated whole-virus SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, which prevent the COVID-19 virus from infecting and reproducing by using certain methods, and at the same time retain the activity that causes immune response within human body. Inactivated vaccines adopt traditional vaccine production method, which is mature, reliable and classic. Compared with other vaccines, inactivated vaccines enjoy multiple advantages: mature R&D platforms, reliable production technology, controllable quality and standards, good preventive effect, rapid development rate, easy for production at scale, and have internationally recognized evaluation criteria of safety and efficacy.
Two doses are required for the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. The recommended interval between the first and second dose is at least three weeks, and the second dose needs to be given within eight weeks. If the second dose is not scheduled within eight weeks due to special reasons, it needs to be administered as soon as possible to enable the recipient to get complete and full immunity.
Q2 Is it necessary to get vaccinated against COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a new infectious disease caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which is transmitted mainly through droplets and close contact. Almost no one has the immunity against COVID-19, and almost everyone is susceptible to COVID-19 infection.
Safe and effective vaccines are the most powerful weapon against the disease. After vaccination, the immunity against COVID-19 will be developed within human body to prevent infection, and the number of severe cases and death rate can be significantly reduced. Currently, people eligible for vaccination, with no contraindications, should all be inoculated.
Q3 Are the inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccines safe and effective?
China adopts stringent control standards for the research and development of vaccines. The entire process is strictly managed concerning the test, approval, launching, storage, transportation and inoculation of inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. Sophisticated cold-chain system is guaranteed for the vaccines, under which strict standards are followed for the storage and transportation. The vaccination institutions and medical staff have received specialized training and have been strictly examined. The vaccination will be carried out according to standard procedures.
According to the interim analysis of the phase III clinical trials for the inactivated whole-virus SARS-CoV-2 vaccines used in Beijing, the efficacy of all these vaccines has met the requirements by the National Medical Products Administration, and the vaccines also met the preferred and minimally acceptable profiles specified in the WHO Target Product Profiles for COVID-19 Vaccines.
Data from monitoring suspected abnormal reactions in the clinical trials and from emergency use and large-scale vaccination for priority groups at earlier stage show that the vaccines are safe.
Q4 How to make an appointment for vaccination?
Districts in Beijing have made proper arrangements and took measures to ensure orderly inoculation. People who wish to be vaccinated may check notices issued by districts and make appointments through their employers or residential communities.
Q5 Can foreign nationals apply for COVID-19 vaccination in Beijing?
Beijing has fully rolled out its COVID-19 vaccination for foreign nationals in the city. Following the principle of “voluntary application, giving informed consent and assuming personal responsibility for risk”, foreign nationals can make an appointment for vaccination through employer or residential community. After appointments are made, foreign nationals may take the jab nearby as arranged by local district authorities based on local situation.
Q6 Are COVID-19 vaccines free of charge?
Foreign nationals who have joined Beijing's social medical insurance scheme may take the vaccine free of charge by showing due insurance documents on the vaccine taking site, while those not covered by the insurance have to pay 93.5 RMB per dose by themselves if they want to be vaccinated.
Q7 Are the current vaccines effective against new virus variants?
Vaccine R&D enterprises have tested and evaluated the cross neutralization ability of vaccine immune serum against the currently collected domestic and foreign variants. The neutralization activity of Covid-19 vaccines granted conditional market approval by China has not decreased and no obvious compromise on the protection rate against new variants has been found. Relevant companies will continue to follow up on vaccine research and development. Based on latest global variants monitoring updates released by WHO, there is no evidence to suggest that the virus mutants can cause vaccines to lose efficacy.
Q8 What are the possible adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines? What should the recipients do should such reactions occur?
The most reported adverse reactions include pain, induration or redness at the injection site, fatigue, and others include fever, headache, cough, anorexia, vomit and diarrhea.
After each shot, the recipients are required to stay 30 minutes for observation on site and can only leave if no discomfort occurs. Staff will inform recipients about the common adverse reactions, cautions, health monitoring after injection, treatment advice and contact information. Should persistent high fever or discomfort occur, the recipient should report to the vaccination institution and seek immediate medical help.
Q9 Can people aged above 60 receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
According to Technical Guideline for the Inoculation of COVID-19 Vaccines (First Edition), as phase I and II clinical data prove that the vaccine is safe for people aged above 60 and can provide some protection, it is recommended that people aged above 60 be inoculated with the Covid-19 vaccine.
According to the overall national plan, Beijing has administered Covid-19 vaccines to some people aged above 60 who want to be vaccinated and are in good health. Next, we will advance mass vaccination steadily among people above 60 and people with chronic diseases based on the effect of vaccination among wider age groups.
Q10 Can people aged below 18 receive the Covid-19 vaccine?
As clinical data of existing vaccines for people aged below 18 are not available, the Covid-19 vaccine is not recommended for this age group. Beijing will arrange vaccination for people aged below 18 according to the national plan based on the progress of vaccine R&D and the follow-up clinical trial outcomes.
Q11 Who are not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine?
According to Technical Guideline for the Inoculation of COVID-19 Vaccines (First Edition), the following groups are not eligible for the vaccine: those who are allergic to the active ingredients of the vaccine, any inactive ingredients, substances used in the production process, or those who had allergic reactions when vaccinated with the same kind of vaccine before; those who have a known history of severe vaccine allergies (such as acute allergic reaction, angioneurotic edema, dyspnea); those who have epilepsy or other severe neurological diseases (such as transverse myelitis, Guillain Barré syndrome, demyelinating diseases); those who are having a fever, or have acute diseases, or are at acute stage of chronic diseases or have severe chronic diseases; and pregnant women.
Q12 Who are not eligible for the second dose?
The health conditions of the second dose recipient must meet the requirements of the Covid-19 vaccine.
If serious allergies or adverse reactions of the nervous system occur after the first dose is administered and such conditions cannot be ruled out to be caused by the vaccine, then the recipient is not recommended for the second dose.
If the second dose recipient is having an acute disease or is at the acute stage of chronic diseases, the second dose should be postponed.
Q13 What preparations should be made before vaccination?
The recipient should have a full understanding of relevant information about the Covid-19 vaccine and the inoculation process at the vaccination site.
Check whether an appointment is necessary.
Bring your ID card as required. Foreign nationals should present passports and valid residence permits and make sure the documents are valid before the second dose is given. Those who have joined Beijing's social medical insurance scheme should provide due insurance documents.
Please wear loose clothing for vaccination and wear masks.
Q14 What care should the recipients take when taking vaccine?
Before vaccination, recipients should inform the doctor of their health conditions and medications they have been taking, and fill in the consent form faithfully; if there is a wound at the injection site, it is recommended to avoid the wound and get the jab in the other arm; after vaccination, the recipients are required to stay 30 minutes for observation; the Q-tips should be thrown into the designated trash can or yellow trash bag for medical waste.
Q15 What care should the recipients take after taking vaccine?
Recipients should stay 30 minutes for observation and can only leave if no abnormal reactions occur. Should persistent high fever or discomfort occur, the recipient must report to the vaccination institution and seek immediate medical help.
Q16 Can the recipient drink and eat spicy food after taking vaccine?
Normal activities and diet will not affect the efficacy of the vaccine, and there is no need to change lifestyle. However, when symptoms such as fever, fatigue or even nausea and diarrhea occur after vaccination, the recipient should adjust diet, have a good rest and avoid overwork, and refrain from drinking alcohol or overeating.
Q17 Can the recipient take a shower after taking vaccine?
The recipient can take a shower after taking COVID-19 vaccine (and other vaccines). The immuniser often ask the recipients not to take a shower within 24 hours after the vaccination, and the main purpose is to prevent infection at the injection site and avoid or mitigate local reactions. After being vaccinated, some may experience redness, swelling or induration at the injection site. Recipients should refrain from touching, squeezing and irritating the injection site during shower, and keep it clean after shower.
Q18 Can the recipient relax personal precaution measures after being vaccinated?
Vaccination will produce immunity from COVID-19 and greatly reduce infection risks. However, no vaccine is 100% effective; some people may have insufficient antibodies after taking vaccine and they can still be vulnerable to infection, especially when an immunologic barrier is not yet created. So it is important that you should wear masks, wash hands regularly, and observe social distancing even after the vaccination.
Q19 Are people with chronic diseases eligible for vaccination?
People with chronic diseases are at high risk of severe illness and death once infected with the COVID-19. According to the newly released Technical Guideline for the Inoculation of COVID-19 Vaccinations (First Edition), people whose health conditions are stable and chronic diseases are under control with medication are not cautioned against getting vaccinated, and vaccination is recommended for them. Severe chronic diseases are contraindications for the vaccine, and people with such diseases cannot be vaccinated.
Q20 Are people who have recovered from COVID-19 eligible for vaccination?
Generally speaking, people who had infectious diseases or asymptomatic patients have immunity, which should protect them in a way similar to the vaccine. Existing research data also show that re-infection is rare within 6 months after being infected with COVID-19. According to Technical Guideline for the Inoculation of COVID-19 Vaccinations (First Edition), if fully informed, those who had COVID-19 infection or asymptomatic infection can receive one dose of the vaccine 6 months after recovery.
Q21 Can people with allergies get Covid-19 vaccines?
Technical Guideline for the Inoculation of COVID-19 Vaccinations (First Edition) clearly states that severe allergic reactions to vaccines (such as acute allergic reactions, angioneurotic edema, and dyspnea) are contraindications to vaccination; therefore, people should take into consideration the severity of their allergic reactions and follow the clinician’s advice.
Q22 Can women who are preparing for pregnancy get vaccination? How soon can recipients prepare for pregnancy after vaccination?
Technical Guideline for the Inoculation of COVID-19 Vaccinations (First Edition) makes it clear that pregnancy preparation is not a contraindication to vaccination. Women or men preparing for pregnancy do not need to delay their plan due to Covid-19 vaccination.
Q23 Can lactating women get Covid-19 vaccines?
Technical Guideline for the Inoculation of COVID-19 Vaccinations (First Edition) suggests that although there is no clinical research data showing Covid-19 vaccines have impact on infants of breastfeeding mothers, based on the knowledge of the vaccine’s safety, it is recommended that lactating women at high risk of infection to Covid-19 (such as medical staff) get vaccinated. Considering the importance of breastfeeding to the nutrition and health of infants and children, and with reference to international practices, breastfeeding women at high risk of infection to Covid-19 are advised to continue breastfeeding after inoculation.
Q24 Can people with immunodeficiency get Covid-19 vaccines?
People with immunodeficiency are the group with a high risk of severe illness and death after being infected with Covid-19. Technical Guideline for the Inoculation of COVID-19 Vaccinations (First Edition) gives the following vaccination suggestions for this group: as there is no data on the safety and efficacy of vaccines for this group at present, and the immune response and protective effect of this group may decrease after vaccination, it is recommended that they get inactivated Covid-19 vaccines based on the safety record of previous vaccines of the same type.
Q25 How to obtain the vaccination proof after completing the whole vaccination process?
(1) After inoculation of the two doses of Covid-19 vaccines, the status of “vaccination completed” will be shown on your Health Kit. Under this condition, you may click the “export or print proof” button at the bottom of the page to get the download link.
(2) Copy and paste the link to the browser to download the electronic vaccination proof.
(3) If notice pops up showing that the vaccination certificate has not been generated, please try again later.