Chinese expats are returning to their country of birth to be vaccinated against Covid-19, and are even bragging about it on the internet, according to Chinese state media.
China’s Global Times boasted on Monday that “a considerable number of Chinese living overseas” have decided to go back to China for the jab rather than stay put and wait for a vaccine in the countries to which they emigrated.
“The journey costs a lot of money and time but many believe it’s worth it,” the Global Times reported, adding that their decision to return to China for the vaccine “despite having alternative choices in the US or Europe also reflects the Chinese people’s growing confidence in domestically produced vaccines.”
The Global Times spoke to several Chinese expats, including a naturalized Swiss citizen who reportedly spent over $10,000 to return to China for the vaccine in October, and an Italy-based Chinese man who claimed that “several hundreds of Qingtian people in Italy have flown back for vaccination.”
The Swiss citizen told the newspaper that she decided to return for the vaccine “at the first chance I had,” and said that going back to China to be vaccinated for Covid-19 has become “one of the most popular forms of bragging” on social media.
She added that, despite the current reality of a deadly pandemic spreading across the world, she knows “that there is a force from my motherland protecting me, which makes me feel extremely relieved.”
China has several vaccines in production, including Sinovac’s CoronaVac and two vaccines from Sinopharm, which are currently in trial stages around the world. The vaccines have already made their way to nations as diverse as Brazil, Indonesia, Chile, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Argentina, and Morocco, and the BBC reported that China “appears to have made huge strides” in the global Covid-19 vaccine race.
Though Covid-19 originated in China, the virus’ ground zero city of Wuhan has since returned to a level of normality, with even large festivals being held, as Europe and the United States struggle to keep the pandemic under control.
China has recorded fewer than 100,000 coronavirus cases and just over 4,700 deaths, while the United States has suffered more than 19 million cases and 338,000 deaths.