Hong Kong ‘fairly assured’ vaccination will be available for all residents by year-end, health secretary says

Hong Kong’s health secretary says she is assured that all its residents will be provided Covid vaccines by the top of 2021.

The metropolis has signed agreements to acquire greater than sufficient doses for its inhabitants, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Food and Health, Sophia Chan, instructed CNBC’s “Capital Connection” on Tuesday.

In response to a query on when Hong Kong may attain herd immunity, Chan stated authorities are nonetheless gauging the response to vaccinations in addition to watching the supply procurement schedule. She didn’t present a timeline for when the town may hit herd immunity, a state of affairs the place sufficient individuals within the inhabitants have change into resistant to a illness, in order that it successfully stops spreading rampantly.

“We are pretty confident that by the end of the year … everybody in Hong Kong will be provided an opportunity to get (their) vaccination,” she stated.

Chan added that greater than 22 million doses of Covid vaccines have already been ordered.

Hong Kong has a inhabitants of round 7.5 million, and started rolling out its vaccination drive in late February. It has signed offers to purchase vaccines from China’s Sinovac Biotech, Europe’s Oxford-AstraZeneca, in addition to one provided by Shanghai-based Fosun Pharma and its associate, German drugmaker BioNTech.

Customers purchase contemporary greens from a road market store in Hong Kong on March 8, 2021.

Anthony Wallace | AFP | Getty Images

Chan stated individuals appear “quite enthusiastic” about being vaccinated to this point, however acknowledged that they’re nonetheless rolling it out in phases and it isn’t but available to the entire inhabitants.

She additionally stated consultants are reviewing the explanations behind hostile occasions together with at the least two deaths following vaccination.

“Our scientific committee has initially provided the information that it has nothing to do with the vaccination. That is, they do not find any direct causality with the vaccination,” she stated.

Separately, Chan weighed in on when Hong Kong would loosen its coronavirus restrictions, saying the town’s authorities will be “very careful” about doing so.

She stated the state of affairs stays “a little bit unstable” as a result of unlinked circumstances are nonetheless being reported regardless of new circumstances being low.

“We want to really contain … and cut the transmission chains in a community because we do not want any clusters to come out,” she stated.

On Tuesday, Hong Kong reported 21 new circumstances, bringing the entire variety of infections to at the least 11,121, based on the health authority there.

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