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[The FAQ]: Booster Shots for Foreigners

Third time’s a charm…
2022-06-10 09:00:00

If you're thinking about getting your third jab, well... you should, of course. In anticipation of that, SmartShanghai talked to our contacts at Jiahui International Hospital to clear up some booster shots-related questions.

SmartShanghai: Can foreigners get Covid-19 booster shots AKA the third dose now? Where and how?

Jiahui: Foreigners can get the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccination at any time at of the designated bodies, as permitted by the Shanghai government. Shanghai Jiahui International Hospital is one of these designated bodies.

To make an appointment, log in to the ‘jian kang yun' mini program on either WeChat or Alipay. Complete the registration process and then make an appointment at your selected location. (SmartShanghai has a full guide here)

SmSh: Will getting a booster shot affect my PCR test results? I've heard that a vaccine can cause my PCR test to come back positive?

Jiahui: In most cases, a recent vaccination will not have any affect on your PCR test. The vaccination that you receive is made up of a ‘dead' virus, meaning that when the vaccination enters your body, the virus cannot replicate, and your body only produces antibodies against this ‘dead' virus. The PCR tests only detect the virus's RNA in your nose or throat, they do not detect antibodies produced against the virus. This means that it is unlikely that the PCR test will be positive as there will be no viral RNA present.

However, in some statements, the Chinese government recommends that you avoid doing a PCR test within 48 hours after receiving a Covid-19 vaccination. This is because it is suspected that some inactive viral RNA fragments may be detected in the test, even if you are not infected by the virus.

So, no, it shouldn't have any affect. But you can also wait 48 hours to be extra sure.

SmSh: I have received the Sinopharm vaccination but I am planning to move back to Europe. Can I receive a western vaccination after I have received Sinopharm?

Jiahui: Yes. Recent studies show that a combination of different vaccinations may be more effective against COVID-19. There are no additional risks in receiving a combination of vaccinations.

However, if you received only one dose of an inactive vaccination (such as Sinopharm), some countries may require that you get fully revaccinated.

SmSh: I'm coming in from Europe with a Western vaccine. Will China recognize my European/US vaccination status?

Jiahui: Chinese CDC systems are not able to recognize vaccination statuses from foreign countries, as the systems are not interlinked.

You will still be able to receive a booster shot in China, although the Chinese CDC will consider the booster shot as your first dose. Alternatively, you can get fully revaccinated in China to get a full Chinese vaccination certificate that can be recognized and tracked by the CDC.


This article was created in collaboration with:


Jiahui Health

Jiahui Health is a relatively new series of private clinics providing family medicine and specialist medical services. There is one opposite Charlie's on Changshu Lu. But those clinics, while perfectly nice, pale in comparison to the massive, 500-bed international hospital Jiahui has built in Xuhui. It looks like something picked up...

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