Hong Kong begins coronavirus vaccination with China's Sinovac

WION Web Team
Hong Kong Published: Feb 26, 2021, 10:37 AM(IST)

Coronavirus vaccination underway in Hong Kong's Kowloon Bay Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Healthcare workers along with senior citizens are among some 2.4 million people currently prioritized to receive the vaccine shots.

Hong Kong on Friday began its coronavirus vaccination for the public as the financial hub kicked off its inoculation drive with the Chinese-made Sinovac coronavirus vaccine.

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The elderly, frontline workers and medical staff have been prioritised at the first stage. The government had earlier approved China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine after a panel of experts fast-tracked its recommendation despite comparatively low efficacy rate.

The advisory panel unanimously supported Sinovac, saying the benefits of authorising its emergency use outweighed the risks unlike other COVID-19 vaccines such as those from Pfizer, Moderna and Astrazeneca -  Sinovac is yet to submit its third-phase clinical trial data to medical journals for peer review.

Healthcare workers along with senior citizens are among some 2.4 million people currently prioritized to receive the vaccine shots. A million doses of the Sinovac vaccine had arrived last week as Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam and other government officials were vaccinated first in a bid to bolster confidence in the program.

Several secretaries also took their first shots of the Sinovac vaccines in a live broadcast on Monday, a day before the city opened the vaccination sign-up channel to people from priority groups.

The city which had imposed severe restrictions till February 18 due to a surge in cases began opening up allowing theme parks, cinemas, salons amid strict conditions.

The coronavirus cases in the city had surged to 80 a day in January. Hong Kong authorities have also secured over 22 million doses of coronavirus vaccine from Fosun Pharma-BioNTech, Sinovac and Oxford-AstraZeneca.

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