China’s campaign ‘Spring Sprout’ vaccinates Chinese around the globe
Chinese citizens living in Thailand began being vaccinated on Thursday as part of China’s global campaign to inoculate its nationals living and working abroad.
China recently donated 500,000 vaccine doses, and Thailand agreed in turn to inoculate Chinese nationals as it slowly rolls out shots for its own citizens to contain a coronavirus surge that has sickened tens of thousands in the past two months.
Yang Xin, minister counsellor at the Chinese Embassy, said Beijing’s “Spring Sprout” program would benefit tens of thousands of Chinese in the country. An estimated 150,000 Chinese citizens live in Thailand.
China has so far supplied 6 million vaccine doses to the country, most of which Thailand purchased.
In downtown Bangkok, a Chinese volunteer with a white mask, transparent shield and blue gloves stood in front of a red banner reading “Spring Sprout Action” at a vaccination center.
A dozen people waited to get a cursory medical check as nurses, accompanied by a translator, gave Chinese-made Sinovac shots in another room.
Zhang Xiaohong, a 40-year-old businessman who runs a logistics company in Thailand, said he is proud to receive a vaccine provided by his country on day one, and feels his country cares about its citizens.
Qin Qing, a 39-year-old real estate broker in Bangkok, said she was a bit nervous before getting the shot and felt slightly dizzy afterward.
“I am grateful for my country and the embassy, and people who help to make it happen, from airline staff who fly the vaccines here to Thai medical workers,” she said.
China’s official People’s Daily newspaper says more than 500,000 Chinese citizens in more than 120 countries have benefited from the “Spring Sprout” vaccine program since it was launched in March.
In Namibia, about 1,800 Chinese who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine have completed inoculation with two shots as of May 6. The second dose was available at over 300 vaccination centers in 35 cities around the country.
As of May 5, about 900 Chinese in Benin have completed two doses of COVID-19 under the program. In Tunisia, 139 Chinese have completed two-dose vaccination as of May 5.
The “Spring Sprout” program has been initiated in dozens of countries including Egypt, Zimbabwe, the Republic of the Congo, Angora, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Sudan, Mozambique, Syria and Montenegro.