First batch of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines arrive in Hong Kong

Shanghai, China, Feb 27 (efe-epa).- The first batch of Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines arrived in Hong Kong on Saturday, a day after authorities kicked off a mass vaccination campaign.

According to a statement issued by the local government, the former British colony on Saturday received 585,000 of the 1 million doses as a part of the first batch, while the rest will arrive from Germany in early March.

Hong Kong approved its use a little more than a month ago, and has also signed contracts to obtain the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the Oxford University, as well as with China’s Sinovac, which will supply another million doses.

However, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine does not have the green light of the authorities in Beijing for use on the mainland, although the Chinese company Fosun Pharma has an agreement to distribute it exclusively at the national level.

The only vaccines approved for use in mainland China are those that have been locally developed: two by Sinopharm, one by Sinovac and one from Cansino.

Tthe authorities in Hong Kong indicated that citizens will be able to make online bookings to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from next week.

On Friday, the first day of the mass vaccination campaign in Hong Kong, some 6,000 people were inoculated against the novel coronavirus, according to official data.

Government officials have urged priority groups to get themselves vaccinated as soon as possible so that economy and life can go back to normal.

These priority groups for vaccination include health workers, citizens over the age of 60, caregivers in nursing homes and uniformed personnel who come in contact with the public.

According to Hong Kong’s civil service minister Patrick Nip, 2.4 million people, or nearly one-third of the city’s population, fall under five priority categories.

Following waves of Covid-19 infections, Hong Kong has so far recorded a total 10,950 confirmed cases, including 198 deaths, and around 96 percent of those infected have recovered. EFE-EPA


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