Experts back use of BioNTech jabs in Hong Kong - RTHK
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Experts back use of BioNTech jabs in Hong Kong

2021-01-18 HKT 19:05
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  • Experts back use of BioNTech jabs in Hong Kong
The government's advisers on coronavirus vaccines have given their unanimous backing to the BioNTech jabs the administration has bought, paving the way for them to be used to inoculate Hong Kong residents.

The 12-member Advisory Panel on Covid-19 Vaccines on Monday recommended that health officials approve the vaccine for emergency use in the SAR, saying the benefits outweigh the risks.

The panel said it had looked at a variety of factors, such as the quality, efficacy and safety of the BioNTech vaccine, which is being supplied for use here by the mainland company Fosun Pharma.

But the advisers said they would like more information from the manufacturer regarding deaths reported among some 42,000 people given the jabs in Norway.

"They reported 29 deaths, 13 of which so far, as reported, were suggested to be related to the vaccines. We still need more information and data for their causes of death. We understand that they were all elderly, and they had multiple different medical conditions. We need to know whether the deaths were actually related to underlying problems or to the vaccines," said the panel's convenor, Wallace Lau.

He stressed that in the event that the panel later decides that the risks involved in using the jabs are bigger than previously thought, it could recommend that they be withdrawn.

BioNTech/Fosun Pharma were reported to be the first to apply for their vaccine to be approved for emergency use in Hong Kong.

The SAR government has also ordered jabs from China's Sinovac, as well as a vaccine jointly developed by Oxford University and Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca.