Health Secretary Sophia Chan said on Saturday that she had noted a fall in the number of people booking a Covid-19 vaccine, and urged anyone who is unsure about getting inoculated to speak to their family doctor.
She made the comment after being asked about the death of a sixty-three year old man two days after he received the Sinovac jab. Experts believe the death is unlikely to be linked to the vaccine.
Government figures show that the daily number of people who booked for vaccination dropped from 18,000 on Tuesday to around 6,000 on Friday.
Chan said she understood why some people were hesitant to get inoculated at the moment. She said there’s no hurry for people to get vaccinated, and authorities will do their best to make sure there will be enough supply of vaccines.
“Of course, with this incident, we notice that the booking has slowed down a little bit. There’s still bookings every day, but it has slowed down a little bit. And we understand… perhaps the public would like to understand their own situation a little bit more," she said.
“We also appeal to the public, if they’re uncertain about their own situation, whether they have serious chronic illness or uncontrolled chronic illness, they can actually consult their family doctor to understand more before they book for vaccination,” she said.
She assured people that the Sinovac and BioNTech-Fosun Pharma vaccines which the government had purchased and authorised for emergency use are safe, efficacious and of good quality.
The minister said the government would continue to monitor the overall vaccination situation, adding that healthcare workers will notify any incident of concern to the Department of Health.
Meanwhile Professor Ivan Hung, a co-convenor of a government-appointed expert panel looking at possible side-effects from Covid vaccination, says preliminary results of an autopsy show no link between the man's death and his inoculation. He said initial tests showed the man had coronary heart disease.
“From the autopsy preliminary result, there’s no direct relationship with the vaccination. Currently we’re waiting for the final report and also for some biochemical as well as histological analysis, before we can summarise in the final report. That probably will take about a week to two weeks. And then we will of course address to the community about the final results,” he said.
Professor Hung added that 17 of around 61,500 people given the Sinovac vaccine over the first week had experienced side-effects that were considered serious, though most had recovered and there was no reason for people to worry.
Drop in vaccine bookings understandable: Sophia Chan
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