Free Vaccine for Chinese Students Ready to Go Abroad?

The developer of one of the three approved vaccines, China National Pharmaceutical Group (CNPG), offers to prioritize free vaccines to Chinese students in Beijing, Wuhan and Guangzhou, who are planning to study abroad between November and January. Over 70,000 students registered, half of them willing to take the vaccine. CNPG disclosed this vaccine has already been trialled on more than 100,000 Chinese expats who were stationed overseas for several months: the group receiving the vaccine had zero infectious cases while their peers at the same location had higher levels of infection. Two doses of injections are required for the vaccine, with a projected protection period of 1-3 years. CNPG believes this vaccine can overcome the mutations of COVID-19 that have been detected to-date. The public has questioned whether the media has fully informed the students about the risk of receiving the vaccine without completion of large-scale human trials, and whether CNPG’s claims about the protection provided by the vaccine are legitimate. The registration website was only operational for a few days before it went under “maintenance” on Oct 13th. We have however since observed the Chinese CDC (Centre of Disease Control) branches offering a vaccine on a fee-paying basis (costing RMB400/USD70 for two doses).

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