Hong Kong will obtain its first batch of coronavirus vaccines as early as subsequent month with the aged and medical employees to get precedence in a free mass vaccination authorities programme, Chief Government Carrie Lam mentioned on Friday.
Lam mentioned metropolis authorities in a “breakthrough” had secured 15 million pictures by advance buy offers with two producers.
She instructed a press convention the federal government purchased 7.5 million pictures from the Beijing-based Sinovac Biotech, which can ship a million of them subsequent month. Hong Kong has bought the same amount from Pfizer/BioNTech, with the primary batch of 1 million pictures out there within the first quarter on the earliest.
“Our next step is for the HKSAR government to be fully prepared to provide vaccination for the public,” she mentioned.
The vaccines will want a “rapid registration” within the metropolis, Lam mentioned, by enacting a regulation beneath the Prevention and Management of Illness Ordinance.
Lam mentioned the federal government would launch a large-scale vaccination programme subsequent yr, giving precedence to teams comparable to medical employees, the aged, power illness sufferers and caregivers at nursing properties. She estimated that these teams account for round three million of Hong Kong’s 7.5 million inhabitants.
“Free vaccines will be provided to Hong Kong citizens, so that lives will return to normal as soon as possible, so that we can resume cross-boundary activities and businesses gradually,” Lam mentioned.
The Pfizer/BioNTech two-shot vaccine is alleged to be 95 p.c efficient and Britain this week grew to become the primary Western nation to make use of it in a mass vaccination programme. The US took a step nearer to approving iton Thursday, after a committee of consultants really helpful that the Meals and Drug Administration grant it emergency authorisation.
As of Thursday, Hong Kong had registered 7,291 Covid-19 circumstances and 114 associated deaths. The federal government this week tightened its social distancing measures in response to a fourth wave of infections, together with re-imposing a ban on dine-in companies at eating places after 6 pm.
Extra to comply with.