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Bookings for BioNTech jabs to start Wednesday

01 March 2021

By The SUN 

Nip and Chan say get the benefits of getting vaccinated outweigh the risks

Online bookings for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccinations will open on Wednesday to those in the priority groups, with the actual inoculation to start after a week, or from Mar 10.

This was announced by the Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip, who held a joint press conference with Health Secretary Dr Sophia Chan earlier today, Mar 1.

He also said that 63,000 doses of the Sinovac vaccine will be distributed to 830 private doctors over the next three days to make as many people to get the jabs as possible.

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In the past four days since Sinovac was offered to the public, he said a total of 20,000  residents have had their first dose of the vaccine. The response has remained “enthusiastic,” according to him, with 250,000 more people having made their bookings.

Both officials reiterated a call for people to get vaccinated as soon as possible, and gave assurance that all three vaccines procured by the government for residents are safe and effective.

“These have been vetted by experts as safe, effective and quality assured. The benefits of immunization outweigh the risks,” said Chan.

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Nip said: “Under the present pandemic, taking or receiving vaccination is better than not receiving vaccination, and doing it early is better than doing it later.”

More than half a million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are now ready for use

Nip said residents in the priority list will be the first to receive the Pfizer/BioN Tech vaccine, which provides an alternative to the one from Sinovac which was rolled out first.

An estimated 2.4 million people are in the priority group, which includes frontline workers, those aged 60 and above, and staff and residents in care homes.


They can choose from among seven community vaccination centres for their jabs, which are located in districts like Sai Wan Ho, Western District, Kwun Tong and Yuen Long

An initial batch of 140,000 slots would be available in the initial roll-out for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines which will end on Mar 28.

But Nip assured everyone that there is enough vaccine for everyone, and that the priority now is to ensure a safe and orderly rollout, and for the process to be speeded up.


The first shipment of 585,000 doses of Pfizer/BioNTech arrived on Saturday, with a second batch expected to follow within the next few days. One million doses of Sinovac came a week earlier, and was the first to be given to top officials including Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her predecessors.

Chan assured the public that everything is being done to monitor any adverse effects of the vaccine, including an investigation into an incident on Saturday, when a 72-year-old man who had hypertension was taken to hospital after developing heart palpitations.

The man remains in hospital in stable condition.

Chan said the government would follow established procedures to assess the case, and determine whether it is linked to the vaccine.

“They will then see if the patient is eligible for the indemnity fund after the assessment,” she said.

She cited the $1 billion indemnity fund that the government had set aside for anyone who experiences an adverse reaction from the vaccines. “It’s there, but we really hope people won’t have to use it,” she said.

Bookings and information for the vaccination should be made through a dedicated website: Elderly persons who need assistance in bookings or appointment scan approach nearby Elderly Community Centres or call the Social Welfare Department hotline: 2343 2255.


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