Virus vaccination drive in pipeline

December 11, 2020

(To watch the full press conference with sign language interpretation, click here.)


Chief Executive Carrie Lam today said the Government will launch a large-scale COVID-19 vaccination programme as soon as possible with priority given to vulnerable groups.


Mrs Lam announced at a press conference this afternoon that the Government had reached advance purchase agreements with two manufacturers that will each supply 7.5 million COVID-19 jabs to Hong Kong, adding that the first batch of one million shots will arrive in January at the earliest.


The Government will soon reach a deal with a third manufacturer which will also provide 7.5 million doses to the city, she added.


The Chief Executive said the Government will launch a large-scale vaccination programme as soon as possible.


“We are according top priority to the two follow-ups that I have just outlined. One (of them) is to enact another regulation under the Prevention & Control of Disease Ordinance, that is Cap 599, to provide a legal framework for us to authorise the use of the vaccines on an emergency basis.

“I have explained why these agreements are called advance purchases. It is because unlike a normal situation (in which) vaccines are authorised and marketed before we buy, on this occasion, it is not just Hong Kong, everywhere in the world, they are buying or entering into purchase agreements when the vaccines have yet to complete several things.


“First is the clinical trial - the phase three clinical trial, the other is authorisation in their respective jurisdictions, and finally is on to the market. So our agreement is also subject to (whether) the chosen vaccines have completed those aspects of work.


“When they have been completed, and we have completed our emergency authorisation of the use of vaccines, then I would expect that we could start the vaccination programme, particularly with the high-risk groups, for example, healthcare workers.”


Priority will also be given to medical staff, the elderly and chronic disease patients.


Mrs Lam also addressed concerns about the safety of the vaccine.


“How I can convince the people of Hong Kong that if it is a Mainland vaccine, it is safe for use? My response is do not get involved in politics, look at it in a totally depoliticised perspective.


“This is about science, this is about evidence, the experts will look at it. And these drugs will be authorised for use not only in Hong Kong but in other places of the world, so that should be the approach one should take in dealing with various aspects of fighting this pandemic together.”

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