Hong Kong, Macau suspend use of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine over defective lids
Hong Kong govt has stated the suspension was speedy whereas the matter is investigated by distributor Fosun Pharma and BioNTech, the German firm that created the vaccine with American pharmaceutical agency Pfizer
Hong Kong: Hong Kong suspended the use of the Pfizer vaccine Wednesday after its Chinese language distributor knowledgeable the town that one batch had defective bottle lids.
The town’s authorities stated the suspension was speedy whereas the matter is investigated by distributor Fosun Pharma and BioNTech, the German firm that created the vaccine with American pharmaceutical agency Pfizer.
BioNTech and Fosun Pharma haven’t discovered any motive to consider the product is unsafe, in keeping with the assertion. Nevertheless, vaccinations might be halted as a preventive and security measure.
The defective lids have been discovered on vaccines from batch quantity 210102. A separate batch of vaccines, 210104, may also be not be administered.
The semi-autonomous territory of Macao additionally stated Wednesday that its residents won’t obtain the Pfizer photographs from the identical batch.
The vaccines from the batch comprise a complete of 585,000 doses, with the opposite batch quantity 210104 holding 758,000 doses, in keeping with Hong Kong’s Director of Well being Constance Chan.
Though about 150,000 doses from batch 210102 have been administered within the metropolis thus far, officers stated throughout a press briefing Wednesday that the vaccines have been protected to use regardless of the packaging defects, and that suspending the vaccination was a precautionary measure. Batch quantity 210104 stays within the warehouse and has not been used.
Chan stated that there have been over 40 cases when medical personnel discovered defective packaging, similar to cracks on the vaccine bottles or leakages when the vaccine was diluted with saline earlier than being administered.
None of these vaccines was given to residents and so they have been thrown away, officers stated.
“Fosun has promised to hold out an instantaneous investigation so they’ll strategy the producer in Germany to look into their plant,” Chan stated. “When the vaccines arrive in Hong Kong, they may have a evaluate of the entire logistics chain to see if that is the trigger of the present scenario.”
She stated that officers are urging producers to offer a report as quickly as doable to verify if the batches of vaccines in Hong Kong can be utilized, in any other case, the producers should ship one other batch of photographs as quickly as doable.
Residents who’re slated to obtain their second Pfizer dose beginning on Saturday ought to get the second shot administered as quickly as doable, if new vaccines arrive in Hong Kong after the advisable 19- to 42-day window following the primary dose.
BioNTech couldn’t be instantly reached for remark.
Fosun Pharma stated in a submitting to the Hong Kong inventory trade that it obtained discover from BioNTech relating to the packaging defects on Tuesday night time and knowledgeable Hong Kong and Macao authorities on Wednesday to quickly suspend the vaccines.
The suspension of the Pfizer jab means the one vaccine at the moment supplied to residents in China’s Sinovac. The 2 vaccines are the one ones that have been supplied to residents in Hong Kong.
German expatriate Jannis Partsafas was amongst a gaggle of individuals who obtained the Pfizer shot forward of the suspension.
“I received vaccinated this morning at 8.30 am earlier than the information went public in regards to the vaccine suspension, and heard the information after I was on my means dwelling,” stated 32-year-old Partsafas, who works within the sporting items trade.
“I am not very involved in regards to the security, however I’m fearful that this will imply extra individuals will flip down the choice of getting vaccinated in Hong Kong which might affect herd immunity and the lifting of social-distancing measures,” he stated.
Some residents who had appointments to obtain the Pfizer photographs stood in line outdoors a group centre within the metropolis’s Sai Ying Pun neighbourhood at about 10.30 am They ultimately left when it turned clear the vaccines wouldn’t be administered.
As of 8 pm Tuesday, 403,000 individuals have obtained vaccines within the metropolis, of which 150,200 had obtained the primary dose of the Pfizer vaccine, in contrast with 252,800 who had taken the Sinovac jab.
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