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Sinovac vaccines well received in HK

By CHEN ZIMO in Hong Kong | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-03-01 09:19
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People wait to receive the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine at a community vaccination center in Sha Tin, Hong Kong, on Friday. EDMOND TANG/CHINA DAILY

Hong Kong officials thanked residents for their support over the weekend in the city's vaccination campaign that started on Friday. They pledged to do their best to provide more access to the COVID-19 vaccines.

As of Saturday, about 13,600 residents in the special administrative region have been inoculated with the mainland developed Sinovac vaccines, 1 million doses of which arrived in Hong Kong from Beijing on Feb 19.

Hours after online registration began on Tuesday, around 70,000 people had fully booked vaccination appointments for the first two weeks.

The SAR government will schedule another 200,000 slots in the online booking system on Monday morning.

On his official website, Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung Kin-chung thanked the public for their support and cooperation on Sunday, noting that the vaccinations are crucial to reviving Hong Kong's economy.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who received the vaccination on Feb 22 before the public vaccination drive began, said the ongoing vaccination program had been carried out smoothly thanks to the hard work and collaboration of various sectors of the mainland and the SAR.

On Saturday, Lam said in a monthly work report that public participation is now most urgently needed. She also said she has been feeling well with no soreness on the injection site.

The Fosun Pharma-BioNTech vaccine will be available in Hong Kong soon and will be offered at seven community vaccination centers, with reservations expected to start by midweek. The first shipment of 585,000 doses of the vaccine had arrived in Hong Kong from Germany on Saturday.

Currently, only people listed in the five priority groups are eligible for vaccination in Hong Kong, including frontline health workers, those aged 60 or older, employees of nursing homes, public service providers, and cross-border transport service operators.

After being vaccinated at a community vaccination center in the Kowloon Bay Sports Centre on Sunday morning, Yang Bin, a 35-year-old medical physicist at a private hospital on Hong Kong Island, told China Daily that he felt obligated as an allied medical professional to be one of the first to answer to the call to be vaccinated, so as to address the many concerns about the vaccinations and to protect himself, his patients and others around him.

Yang expressed faith in the vaccine and said that from a scientific point of view, all accessible vaccines have been well reviewed by expert committees and are subject to rigorous clinical trials.

A 50-year-old surnamed Lam serving as a member of public disciplinary services said he has been feeling great after receiving the vaccination on Friday. Many of his colleagues said they would book the next round of vaccines at the earliest to protect themselves and others.

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