All vaccines to undergo rigorous safety procedures before Hong Kong roll-out, says civil service minister.
Covid-19 vaccines will be subject to robust safety procedures before they are distributed to the Hong Kong public, a senior official has pledged after one brand procured by the city was found in a study to be significantly less effective than expected.
Civil service minister Patrick Nip Tak-kuen on Wednesday also said he believed that residents’ views on the coronavirus vaccines might change, as he responded to a newly released university poll conducted last summer that revealed less than 40 per cent of Hongkongers were willing to take the shots.
Offering reassurances after new data emerged for the CoronaVac jab, manufactured by Beijing-based Sinovac, Nip said an advisory panel would review every vaccine based on clinical trial data and offer advice to the health authority before inoculation started.
The minister overseeing the city’s vaccination roll-out added the shots must also secure approval for emergency use from a drug regulatory body outside Hong Kong, as well as a nod from the government.
“They have to go through these few steps, so that the vaccines can be used in Hong Kong. It’s to ensure the vaccine itself is safe, effective and has quality,” he said.
The city’s advisory panel will meet this week to review data from the three types of Covid-19 vaccines procured by the government, according to Nip, who said it was his understanding that clear advice would then be published.
The minister sought to allay public concerns after latest data produced by a Brazilian research institute listed the efficacy rate of CoronaVac as 50.4 per cent.
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