Hong Kong residents to be offered vaccines by end 2021: Health secretary

Hong Kong’s health secretary claims she is self-confident that all its residents will be offered Covid vaccines by the conclusion of 2021.

The city has signed agreements to get far more than ample doses for its inhabitants, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Food items and Health, Sophia Chan, advised CNBC’s “Capital Connection” on Tuesday.

In response to a dilemma on when Hong Kong could reach herd immunity, Chan explained authorities are continue to gauging the response to vaccinations as nicely as looking at the shipping procurement program. She did not give a timeline for when the city could hit herd immunity, a situation where by ample men and women in the populace have grow to be immune to a ailment, so that it properly stops spreading rampantly.

“We are very self-confident that by the conclusion of the yr … everyone in Hong Kong will be furnished an opportunity to get (their) vaccination,” she explained.

Chan additional that more than 22 million doses of Covid vaccines have presently been ordered.

Hong Kong has a population of close to 7.5 million, and began rolling out its vaccination travel in late February. It has signed offers to acquire vaccines from China’s Sinovac Biotech, Europe’s Oxford-AstraZeneca, as nicely as a single supplied by Shanghai-centered Fosun Pharma and its associate, German drugmaker BioNTech.

Customers purchase refreshing veggies from a street market store in Hong Kong on March 8, 2021.

Anthony Wallace | AFP | Getty Visuals

Chan stated persons look “quite enthusiastic” about becoming vaccinated so considerably, but acknowledged that they are continue to rolling it out in phases and it is not still available to the total populace.

She also explained gurus are examining the factors at the rear of adverse functions together with at minimum two deaths next vaccination.

“Our scientific committee has in the beginning supplied the information and facts that it has nothing at all to do with the vaccination. That is, they do not locate any immediate causality with the vaccination,” she claimed.

Separately, Chan weighed in on when Hong Kong would loosen its coronavirus restrictions, stating the city’s authorities will be “really cautious” about accomplishing so.

She claimed the circumstance remains “a small little bit unstable” due to the fact unlinked circumstances are nonetheless remaining claimed irrespective of new cases staying small.

“We want to genuinely contain … and slash the transmission chains in a group for the reason that we do not want any clusters to arrive out,” she claimed.

On Tuesday, Hong Kong described 21 new conditions, bringing the overall variety of bacterial infections to at minimum 11,121, in accordance to the health authority there.