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'Only have a three-month window': Hong Kong may throw away Pfizer, Sinovac vaccine

WION Web Team
Hong KongUpdated: May 25, 2021, 06:40 PM IST

Photograph:(AFP)

Story highlights

Despite the presence of vaccines, only 19 per cent of the Hong Kong population has taken one dose of either vaccine while 14 per cent have received two doses.

The Hong Kong authorities have warned that it may be forced to throw away millions of coronavirus vaccine doses as it is fast approaching its expiry date.

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The government has said it only has a "three-month window" before the first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine expires.

Hong Kong had bought 7.5 million doses each of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and China's Sinovac for its entire population, although the Sinovac vaccine is yet to be authorised by the World Health Organization(WHO).

Despite the presence of vaccines, only 19 per cent of the population has received one dose of either vaccine while 14 per cent have received two doses.

The health workers also haven't taken the full dose with only a third of its staff vaccinated, according to authorities.

Reports say there's public distrust over the pro-China government including the fact that the country has witnessed a mild outbreak compared to the rest of the world with just 210 coronavirus casualties so far since the start of the pandemic.

3,263,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines which have a shelf life of six months were sent to Hong Kong but just 1,231,600 have been administered so far.

At least 2 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine were sent to the city which reportedly has a longer shelf life of one year. 

Amid the vaccine abundance, authorities have announced that 40,000 Chinese mainlanders with travel permits along with 13,000 refugees will now be eligible to get the vaccine.