Hong Kong has struck deals for 15 million doses of coronavirus vaccines from two pioneering companies and will receive the first injections starting in January, CEO Carrie Lam said on Friday.
Securing the delivery of 15 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, the city leader said Hong Kong has reached agreements for 7.5 million doses each from Sinovac and Pfizer-BioNTech. Since each person needs two doses, the 15 million would be enough to cover the city’s population, he added.
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Hong Kong will receive the Sinovac injections from January and the Pfizer-BioNTech doses from the first quarter of next year, Lam said.
Priority will be given to people at risk, such as the elderly and staff in nursing homes and in health care, he said at a press conference.
“Our goal is that within 2021, free vaccinations will be provided to Hong Kong residents so that our lives return to normal as soon as possible, so that we can gradually resume cross-border activities and business activities,” Lam said.
He said Hong Kong is also negotiating with AstraZeneca and another manufacturer with the goal of securing a total of 30 million doses. So, “if one type of vaccine turns out to be problematic, we have another alternative. And the amount of acquisition will be twice the population of Hong Kong,” he added.
The announcement will likely calm residents of the former British colony, who were increasingly concerned that Hong Kong was lagging behind its regional peers in procuring vaccines, even as restrictions tighten again to fight a new wave. .
The city is currently facing an increase in cases and has tightened up social distancing measures. It has reported 7,378 infections, including 114 deaths.