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Coronavirus vaccines to be available in HK from next month

11 December 2020

By The SUN 

Sinovac vaccine from the mainland will be the first to be introduced from next month 

Chief Executive Carrie Lam has announced that her government has reached “breakthrough” agreements with two Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers to secure 15 million shots for residents, or two for each of the city’s 7.5 million residents.

The first million doses from mainland company, Sinovac, will arrive by January, while another million doses is expected to be provided by the first quarter of 2021 year by Pfizer/BioNTech, a joint enterprise between US and German drug companies.

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CE Lam made the announcement this afternoon, Dec 11, during a press briefing attended by her top Cabinet officials.

“We hope to vaccinate the majority of Hong Kong citizens in 2021, so our daily lives and border exchanges can return to normal,” she said.

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Lam said 7.5 million doses will come from Sinovac, and the other 7.5 million from Pfizer/BioNTech.

She said the government is finalising a separate agreement with AstraZeneca, which is developing its own vaccine with Oxford University, for an extra 7.5 million jabs.

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Lam said the goal is to acquire enough doses to give each resident vaccines from two different manufacturers.

With double doses needed for each person, the government will have to buy more vaccines from a fourth manufacturer, but the chief executive did not name which company this would be.

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But she said the government was prepared to buy as many as 30 million shots if two jabs were needed for each vaccine to be effective.

The CE says the vaccine will be voluntary for all residents (RTHK photo)

As promised, the vaccines will be free to all residents, but getting the shots would be voluntary.

“I cannot run a mandatory vaccination programme. I couldn’t even run it for the flu ... [for which] the vaccines are well-recognised, so how can I run a compulsory vaccination programme for an emergency vaccine?” Lam asked.

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She said those in the vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and chronically ill patients, and those deemed at high risk of catching the virus, such as medical staff, workers at care facilities, will be the first to be vaccinated.

Lam explained the government’s two-pronged strategy of buying from at least two different manufacturers that developed different technologies, saying this was necessary  to provide diversity and better protection for residents.


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Apart from direct purchase from manufacturers, Hong Kong has also joined the Covax procurement mechanism led by the World Heal Organization, which assures equitable distribution of vaccine among member states.

Last Friday, the mainland announced that it would have 600 million doses of coronavirus vaccines ready within the year, while Macau said it would have its first batch of vaccines by the end of the year.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong Dream Love

The chief executive was accompanied at the press conference by Health Secretary Dr Sophia Chan, Labour Secretary Law Chi-kwong, Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip, Secretary for Home Affairs Caspar Tsui, Director of Health Dr. Constance Chan, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Hospital Authority, Tony Ko.

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