A star ferry is seen crossing Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong on July 16, 2021. (ISAAC LAWRENCE / AFP)
HONG KONG - Hong Kong received its latest shipment of about 860,000 doses of BioNTech's vaccine as the city reported 2 new imported COVID-19 cases on Sunday.
In a statement, the Centre for Health Protection said the new patients included a 75-year-old man who arrived from the United States and a 25-year-old woman from Bangladesh. Both of them had no symptoms. The city’s tally of confirmed cases stood at 11,958.
Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip Tak-kuen urged members of the public to have their jabs completed as soon as possible
The CHP added that a total of 17 cases were reported from July 4 to 17, including 16 imported infections and one import-related case.
The latest shipment of about 860,000 doses of the Comirnaty vaccine, manufactured by BioNTech and filled and finished at a plant in Baxter, Germany, arrived in Hong Kong on Sunday.
Soon after their arrival, government staff members stringently checked the vaccines to ensure that they comply with product specifications and that the transportation process followed cold-chain requirements.
The government will put the vaccines in validated ultra-low temperature freezers to ensure their proper storage.
Also on Sunday, Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip Tak-kuen urged members of the public to have their jabs completed as soon as possible.
“I hope that the public would get their first dose before end of August so that we can achieve the vaccination rate of 70 per cent of our eligible population as early as possible because it is very essential for our community to return to normal, for cross-boundary travel to other places,” Nip said at a media session after attending a radio program.
“Our objective is to achieve the 70 per cent of our eligible population getting vaccinated as early as possible,” he added.
Nip said the city’s elderly should get vaccinated, noting that only around 25 percent of residents aged 60 and above were inoculated.
“It's very low and it puts our elderly at risk should there be another wave of outbreak in the community,” he said.
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Nip also said the government will monitor the situation to see whether to extend the operations of Community Vaccination Centres.
“But it's very clear that the community vaccination centre cannot be operated for a very long time because it has been in operation for more than 140 days, 7 days a week, from 8am to 8pm. So we would critically review the situation in light of the actual vaccination situation,” he said.
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