© Reuters. COVID-19 vaccinations in Hong Kong
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, along with top officials, received the Chinese Sinovac vaccine at a live television event on Monday to increase public confidence ahead of the vaccine’s launch in the global financial center this week.
Sinovac is the first COVID-19 vaccine to be launched in Hong Kong before the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine arrives in China’s Special Administrative Region before the end of February.
The city’s vaccine adoption has lagged behind other developed cities and is way behind mainland China, which started last July.
Lam, dressed in a white T-shirt, was filmed receiving the first vaccine at a center in the Hong Kong Central Library. Her cabinet ministers, including Minister of Health Sophia Chan and Secretary General for Administration Matthew Cheung, lined up to be vaccinated for her.
Lam appealed to all residents to take the vaccine during a press conference after they were vaccinated.
“This requires the full cooperation of the Hong Kong people so that Hong Kong society can recover as quickly as possible.”
Health Minister Chan told Reuters the government was trying to reassure residents who were concerned about the ingestion of Sinovac.
A million doses of the Sinovac vaccine arrived in the former British colony from Beijing on Friday. Hong Kong’s 7.5 million residents will be able to get vaccinated starting February 26 after applying online.
Residents are allowed to choose the type of vaccine, the government said.
Sentiment against the mainland has increased in Hong Kong since 2019, when protesters took to the streets to demonstrate against what they see as Beijing’s stronger influence over the territory.
A survey by the University of Hong Kong in January found that less than 30% of respondents said they would accept the Sinovac vaccine.
Hong Kong has secured 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 and 197 deaths since last January.
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