Hong Kong, Macao suspend BioNTech shots due to defective vial caps

Beijing, Mar 24 (efe-epa).- Hong Kong and Macao have temporarily suspended inoculations with the vaccine made by the German company BioNTech, developed jointly with the American company Pfizer, due to defective packaging of one of its batches.

The decisions were made after the manufacturer notified Hong Kong and Macao of problems with the caps of the vials of batch number 210102.

The Hong Kong government announced in a statement on Wednesday that inoculation with the batch as well as another (210104, as a preventive measure) of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine will be suspended immediately for safety reasons.

“For the sake of precaution, the current vaccination must be suspended during the period of investigation,” Hong Kong’s government said in a statement.

Macao’s authorities also issued a statement announcing the suspension of inoculation with the vaccines from batch number 210102.

The Hong Kong government added that the department of health will hold an emergency meeting with Pfizer-BioNTech’s distribution partner Fosun Industrial on Wednesday to get more details and follow up on the matter.

The government of Macao said that all mRNA vaccines in the autonomous region belong to the batch indicated by the manufacturer.

A total of 152,200 people have received the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine in Hong Kong to date, according to the latest data provided by the Hong Kong government, while some 39,257 people have been vaccinated in Macao, according to the authorities’ data, although they do not specify which vaccine was used.

The National Health Commission of China reported Wednesday that 90,125 people have been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in mainland China so far, out of which 4,636 have died, while 11,410 infections have been detected in Hong Kong, including 204 deaths, and 48 in Macao. EFE-EPA


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