November 7th, 2009
新京报/The Beijing News reports that Beijingers can get free vaccinations against Influenza A H1N1. Anybody over the age of 3 who is willing and gives their informed consent and who is a registered Beijing resident can get their free vaccination from any of 402 vaccination centres any time between November 16 and December 13. I take “registered Beijing resident” to mean that foreigners and Chinese whose residence is registered in a province, municipality or autonomous region other than Beijing still have to pay for vaccines. Unfortunately the 3.63 million doses of vaccine Beijing currently has are for some reason not suited to over 60s, so the city’s elderly will have to wait.
The article also reports some interesting statistics regarding Beijing’s H1N1 vaccination programme to date:
From the launch of H1N1 vaccination on September 21 among those participating in the National Day festivities up until yesterdaya total of over 440 thousand people susceptible to H1N1 have been vaccinated (mainly social and public service personnel in key positions such as primary and middle school students, medical workers, transport workers).
“The rate of adverse reactions is no greater than for seasonal flu vaccinations, and are mostly localised minor adverse reactions” said Municipal Health Bureau Disease Control Office directer Zhao Tao. Along with the development of the epidemic and the expressions of safety among the broad masses of those vaccinated, currently more and more citizens wish to be vaccinated against H1N1.
Further down, the article states that from November 16 the vaccination centres will be open between 8am and midday and 1:30pm and 5:30pm. Somehow I doubt that many people reading this blog will be eligible for free vaccinations, but if you want to know where the nearest vaccination centre is you can check the Municipal Health Bureau’s official website (there are links to English, French and Japanese sites at the top of the page- but I hope others have an easier time trying to find the locations of these vaccination centres than I’m having) or dial 12320. Also, large-scale work units such as universities, schools, government institutions, and large enterprises may also get their own vaccination centres.