5/5 © Reuters. COVID-19 vaccines in Hong Kong 2/5
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam received China’s Sinovac vaccine along with senior officials at a live televised event on Monday to boost public confidence ahead of the vaccine launch at the global financial center. this week. Sinovac is the first COVID-19 vaccine to be introduced in Hong Kong, before the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine reaches the Special Administrative Region of China before the end of February. The launch of the vaccine in the city has lagged other developed cities and lags far behind mainland China, which began last July. Lam, wearing a white T-shirt, was filmed receiving the first vaccine at a center set up in Hong Kong’s central library. Her cabinet ministers, including Health Secretary Sophia Chan and Chief Administration Secretary Matthew Cheung, lined up to get vaccinated after her. Lam appealed to all residents to get vaccinated during a press conference after their vaccination. “This requires the full cooperation of the Hong Kong people to help Hong Kong society recover as soon as possible.” Health Secretary Chan told Reuters the government was trying to reassure residents concerned about taking Sinovac, stating that standards had not been lowered to accept the vaccine and that Beijing had not pushed for it to be approved. One million doses of the Sinovac vaccine arrived from Beijing to the former British colony on Friday. Hong Kong’s 7.5 million residents can get vaccinated as of February 26 after applying online. Residents will be able to choose the type of vaccine, the government said. Anti-continental sentiment has risen in Hong Kong since 2019 when protesters took to the streets to demonstrate against what they see as Beijing’s strengthening of control over the territory. A January survey by the University of Hong Kong found that fewer than 30% of people surveyed said they would accept the Sinovac vaccine. Hong Kong has obtained a total of 22.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer (NYSE :), Sinovac and AstraZenca. The city has recorded around 10,800 cases since last January and 197 deaths.