CHINA / SOCIETY
First batch of 685,000 doses of mRNA vaccine arrives in Hong Kong
Published: Feb 27, 2021 04:39 PM

First Batch of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine in Hong Kong and Macao


 The first batch of 685,000 doses of the COVID-19 mRNA vaccine co-developed by Germany’s BioNTech and China's Fosun Pharma arrived in Hong Kong on Saturday, the Global Times learned.

The vaccine developer sent a statement to the Global Times on Saturday about the vaccine’s arrival, saying that according to data from the global Phase three clinical trials, the vaccine met all primary efficacy endpoints, demonstrating an effectiveness of 95 percent in preventing COVID-19 in adults and 94 percent in adults over 65 years of age. Efficacy in the trial was consistent across age, gender, race and ethnicity. 

This vaccine was granted authorization for emergency use in Hong Kong on January 25, and special import authorization in Macao on February 23, the statement said.

585,000 doses will be supplied to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) while 100,000 doses will be made available for the Macao Special Administrative Region. 

Doses reserved for Macao will be delivered via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge. Another hundreds of thousands doses are expected to arrive in Hong Kong from Germany in early March.

Patrick Nip Tak-kuen, Secretary for the Civil Service of the HKSAR, who was at the airport to welcome the vaccine, said that online reservations and offline vaccination centers are expected to be opened next week. 

Due to the high requirements of cold-chain management for the vaccine, the government will first open seven community vaccination centers operated by Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority, and the remaining centers will be opened later.

The vaccine needs to be stored in refrigerators at a temperature of -70C.

The Macao SAR government said they will commence inoculations of the batch of the vaccine for residents from next Wednesday. 

Wu Yifang, Chairman and CEO of Fosun Pharma on Saturday thanked the support from the Hong Kong and Macao governments. Vaccines have become an important way to contain the pandemic, Wu said.
“We are confident in victory over the pandemic and we will also cooperate closely with both Hong Kong and Macao governments regarding vaccination programs to provide strong protection for every family in Hong Kong and Macao,” Wu said.

Ugur Sahin, M.D., CEO and Co-founder of BioNTech noted, together with partner Fosun Pharma, they are working relentlessly to support the roll-out of the vaccine in Hong Kong. “This forms part of our global effort in ensuring worldwide access to our well-tolerated and highly efficacious vaccines,” Ugur Sahin said.

Hong Kong’s vaccination program started on Friday. The vaccination is free of charge in the city. The first batch of 1 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine arrived in Hong Kong on February 19.

HKSAR Chief Executive Carrie Lam and several secretaries including Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah (Secretary of Justice) and Matthew Cheung Kin-chung (Chief Secretary of Administration) took their first shot of Sinovac vaccine in a live broadcast on February 22.


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