Hong Kong govt to delay imports of AstraZeneca vaccine amid safety concerns

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Hong Kong govt to delay imports of AstraZeneca vaccine amid safety concerns
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Hong Kong, April 9

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Hong Kong mentioned on Friday it should delay shipments of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine this yr amid mounting concerns over potential hyperlinks between the shot and really uncommon circumstances of blood clots.

The Chinese-ruled metropolis had ordered 7.5 million doses from the British-Swedish firm, which had been scheduled to arrive within the second half of 2021.

Health Secretary Sophia Chan mentioned the worldwide monetary centre had a enough provide of vaccines, with a complete of 15 million doses of Germany’s BioNTech and China’s Sinovac – the one two vaccines obtainable within the metropolis.

“Even if we have signed a pre-purchase agreement with AstraZeneca, we believe that AstraZeneca vaccines will not need to be supplied to Hong Kong this year, so as not to cause a waste when the vaccine is still in short supply globally,” Chan mentioned.

The authorities was contemplating shopping for a brand new sort of vaccine which will provide higher safety, she added.

More than 700,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered to town’s 7.5 million inhabitants up to now, a determine Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam mentioned was unsatisfactory.

The sluggish take-up comes amid dwindling confidence within the Sinovac vaccine and fears of hostile reactions, whereas BioNTech vaccines had been briefly halted due to packaging defects.

Earlier on Friday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison mentioned his nation doubled its order of the Pfizer Inc COVID-19 vaccine. Until late Thursday, Australia primarily based its vaccination programme largely on AstraZeneca.

The Philippines and South Korea have suspended the use of AstraZeneca pictures for folks below age 60.

Italy on Wednesday joined France, the Netherlands, Germany and others in recommending a minimal age for recipients of AstraZeneca’s shot, and Britain mentioned folks below 30 ought to get an alternate.

Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin mentioned on Thursday the nation was in talks with China on getting as many as 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to plug a spot in deliveries brought on by delays within the arrival of AstraZeneca pictures.

European and British regulators mentioned on Wednesday that they had discovered potential hyperlinks between AstraZeneca’s vaccine and really uncommon circumstances of blood clots, however reaffirmed the vaccine’s significance in defending folks in opposition to COVID-19.

Hong Kong has registered greater than 11,500 coronavirus circumstances, with 205 deaths. –Reuters

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