'Three-month window' for HKers to get BioNTech shots - RTHK
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'Three-month window' for HKers to get BioNTech shots

2021-05-25 HKT 09:16
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  • 'Three-month window' for HKers to get BioNTech shots
Thomas Tsang speaks to RTHK's Mike Weeks
A member of the government's vaccine task force is urging Hong Kong people to get inoculated now, warning that BioNTech shots will soon be out of date and the SAR may not be able to get its hands on further doses for the rest of this year.

Thomas Tsang, a former controller of the Centre for Health Protection, said Hong Kong was lucky that it had vaccines for everyone, yet its take-up rate was only around 20 percent. He said this was down to a false perception that the jabs available were not safe.

Speaking on RTHK's Hong Kong Today programme, he urged people not to take a wait-and-see approach in case their favoured vaccines weren't available at a later stage.

"The vaccines all have expiry dates," he said. "They cannot be used after the expiry date and the community vaccination centres for BioNTech will, according to present plans, cease operating after September.

"So we only have maybe a three-month window to get vaccinated if you are considering BioNTech; after that it may be much more difficult.

"The whole world is scrambling for vaccines and its is not just right that we can buy a vaccine overnight and we just have it. What we have is probably all we have for the rest of the year."

Hong Kong ordered 7.5 million doses each of the vaccines from the mainland's Sinovac and the German company BioNTech. A further order from AstraZeneca was cancelled, but officials have said they are looking at ordering a future second generation vaccine.

As of Monday, almost 2.2 million doses had been delivered and about 900,000 people had received both doses. More than 1.2 million of the doses taken so far are from BioNTech.