In this file photo taken on Dec 8, 2020, a member of staff draws the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine out of a vial at the Southmead Hospital, Briston. (GRAEME ROBERTSON / AFP / POOL)
HONG KONG - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government said on Monday that its vaccine procurement is entirely based on existing scientific evidence and aims to ensure the earliest possible availability of the safest and most effective vaccine for Hong Kong people.
The remarks were made in response to rumors on social media that the HKSAR government's purchase for COVID-19 vaccines is a political decision and will use it to transfer benefits to the mainland or individual companies.
The spokesperson said that the HKSAR government's decision to purchase the vaccine was made after taking into account the views of experts on the candidate vaccines and factors such as the supply, timing, logistics and storage of the vaccine
A spokesperson for the HKSAR government said these are purely rumors and were made out of ulterior motives.
The HKSAR government announced in September that it would adopt a "two-pronged" strategy to procure vaccines for protecting members of the public against COVID-19, including joining the COVAX mechanism led by the World Health Organization and directly making advance purchases of vaccines from individual vaccine developers to obtain more vaccine supplies as soon as possible.
The spokesperson said that the HKSAR government's decision to purchase the vaccine was made after taking into account the views of experts on the candidate vaccines and factors such as the supply, timing, logistics and storage of the vaccine.
The decision was based solely on safety, efficacy, quality and supply, and has absolutely no political implications, the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added that any comments that spread false information or attempt to politicize public health issues would seriously undermine the community's solidarity in the fight against the epidemic and the HKSAR government expressed extreme regret over them.
To enhance public confidence in vaccines, the HKSAR government will continue to enhance the transparency of information dissemination.
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