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April 21, 2021

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US jabs accepted by China for visas

CHINA has started to accept vaccination records from people seeking to enter China who have been inoculated in the United States with COVID-19 shots made by US drugmakers.

Travelers who have had the Pfizer-BioNTech shot or the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines can submit proof as part of the documentation needed for entry into China, the Chinese embassy in Washington said in a statement on Friday.

The guidance suggests the beginnings of an easing in travel requirements.

The world’s second-largest economy has yet to approve vaccines developed by non-Chinese drug makers for use domestically, although the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that China was planning to authorize the BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by July.

Chinese officials are reviewing clinical-trial data for the vaccine and are expected to authorize it for domestic use within the next 10 weeks, the report said.

BioNTech said in a statement that it does not speculate on timings of approvals. It has agreed to cooperate with Shanghai Fosun Pharma to deliver 100 million doses to China in 2021, pending approval, the report said.

Fosun has sole marketing rights in China and the German company partners with Pfizer in other parts of world.

Other Chinese embassies that accept non-Chinese vaccination records include the embassy in Iraq. It said in March it would accept any COVID-19 vaccine approved in Iraq, which has given the emergency-use nod to vaccines from China’s Sinopharm and Britain’s AstraZeneca.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said last month China was willing to hold talks with other countries over mutual recognition of the Chinese QR health code, which would contain a digital certificate of COVID-19 vaccination.

Experts said that approval of vaccine imports could enrich the domestic vaccine pool and help facilitate reciprocal vaccine recognition.


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