COVID-19 vaccine: Answers to frequently asked questions
China has started offering free shots of COVID-19 vaccines among some key groups of individuals, and will expand the range to others as more vaccines become available. Here we've provided answers to commonly asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines.
Q: What people are in the priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination?
A: Vaccines will be given first to priority groups with a high potential risk of infection including:
Inspection and quarantine staff handling cold-chain products
Workers loading, unloading and transporting cargo at ports
People whose work is related to transportation
Staff at border ports
Public security officers, firefighters and community workers
Workers at water, electricity, heating and gas utility companies
Those who work in logistics, elderly care, sanitation and cremation and burial industries
Those who will work or study in countries and regions with a medium- or high-risk of exposure to the virus
Q: Who should delay getting vaccinated?
A: Vaccination should be postponed for the following groups of people:
Those who are younger than 18 or older than 59
People allergic to any component of the vaccine or those with severe allergies to other vaccines
People suffering from fever, acute illness, severe chronic diseases or in the acute phase of chronic diseases
Pregnant women, lactating women or women have plan to have a child within three months of vaccination
Those with a history or family history of convulsions, epilepsy, encephalopathy or psychiatric disorders; those with uncontrolled epilepsy or other progressive neurological disorders; and those with a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome
Those who have been diagnosed with a congenital or acquired immune deficiency, HIV infection, lymphoma, leukemia or other autoimmune diseases
Those suffer from or are suspected to have severe respiratory diseases, severe cardiovascular diseases, liver and kidney diseases, malignant tumors
Those who use immunomodulators such as anticancer drugs
Those who have been infected with the novel coronavirus
Those considered not suitable for vaccination according to clinicians or vaccination workers
Any other individuals specified in the manual of the vaccine
Q: What types of COVID-19 vaccines are currently available? Which one is the best?
A: There are hundreds of institutions developing COVID-19 vaccines. There are many different types according to the technology being used, such as inactivated vaccines, recombinant vaccines, vector vaccines and nucleic acid vaccines.
At present there is no evidence to conclude which vaccine is better. All COVID-19 vaccines approved for use are effective at preventing the disease. The vaccines given to priority groups in China are inactivated vaccines.
Q: How do you get vaccinated and how many doses are needed?
A: Two doses of the vaccine are recommended for immunization, within an interval of at least 14 days. The vaccine is injected into the deltoid muscle in the upper arm.
Q: If I miss or have to delay the second vaccine dose, what should I do?
A: No clinical research data is available regarding different immunization procedures, so the maximum interval between the two shots is currently not known. You should complete the vaccine doses as soon as possible if you have deviated from the recommended schedule.
Q: Can I use different COVID-19 vaccines interchangeably for the two shots?
A: It is recommended that you use vaccines produced by the same manufacturer to complete the series.
Q: How long does it take to produce antibodies after vaccination?
A: Clinical studies have shown that antibody production generally begins seven days after the first dose of the inactivated COVID-19 vaccine, and the antibody positivity rate is about 60-90 percent in 14-28 days. The antibody positivity rate reaches more than 90 percent 28 days after the second dose of vaccine and provides continuous protection.
Q: Do I need to check if I have generated antibodies? If test results are negative, do I have to restart the vaccination procedure from the first shot?
A: There's no need to check if you have generated antibodies unless there is a special requirement for it. For those who voluntarily take an antibody test and receive negative results, it's also not recommended to restart the vaccination procedure.
Q: Can I take the COVID-19 vaccine with other vaccines, such as the HPV vaccine, flu vaccine or rabies vaccine?
A: The COVID-19 vaccine is a new vaccine, so it is not recommended that you get a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as any other vaccine.
Q: Is it safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine, which was developed in a short time?
A: The COVID-19 vaccine, like any other vaccine, has undergone animal testing, human pre-clinical testing, and population phase I, II and III clinical trials before going to the market. The safety of the vaccine has repeatedly been proven.