First batch of COVID-19 vaccines to be available in Macao by first quarter of 2021

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/15 18:58:41

A vaccine factory in China Photo: AFP

The first batch of 1.4 million doses of vaccines purchased by the Macao Special Administrative Region government are expected to be available by the first quarter of 2021, according to a Macao Novel Coronavirus Infection Response Coordination Center press conference on Monday. 

Frontline anti-epidemic personnel, workers who are likely to be exposed to the virus, and Macao residents who need to go to foreign countries will be given priority, Luo Yilong, medical director of Renbojue General Hospital, told media on Monday. 

Frontline anti-epidemic personnel include medical workers, firefighters and police, and the workers likely to be exposed to virus include transportation and cold chain industry personnel, Luo said.   

"The vaccines will be shipped to Macao in batches considering the storage capacity of Macao, the supply capacity of manufacturers and the demand of Macao for vaccines," said Luo. "According to the current progress, the first batch of vaccines is expected to arrive in the first quarter of 2021," he added.

The Macao SAR government originally revealed in September that it had signed an agreement with the World Health Organization (WHO) to participate in its COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility (COVAX), guaranteeing that the local government would be able to buy a certain amount of COVID-19 vaccines when available, according to China News Service.

The Macao SAR government purchased 200,000 doses of vaccine through the COVAX program and has paid the deposit, Liang Yihao, coordinator of Infectious Disease Control and Disease Surveillance Department, Macao CDC, said at a press conference on Monday. 

Liang added that the Macao SAR government has directly negotiated with Sinopharm to buy 400,000 doses of the inactivated vaccine, BioNtech for 400,000 doses of mRNA vaccine and AstraZeneca for 400,000 doses of the adenovirus vector vaccine. 

Liang suggested at the conference that some people cannot get the vaccine, including children under the age of 16, pregnant women and women who plan to become pregnant within 3 months.


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