HONG KONG – On Monday, Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam got China’s Sinovac vaccine along with top officials at a live TV event to reinforce public trust ahead of the global financial hub’s launch of the vaccine this week.
Sinovac is the first Covid-19 vaccine to be launched in Hong Kong before the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is expected to arrive before the end of February in the Chinese Special Administrative Area.
Other advanced cities have lagged behind the city’s vaccine rollout and are well behind mainland China, which began last July.
Lam, dressed in a white t-shirt, was filmed receiving the first vaccine in a centre set up at Hong Kong’s central library. Her cabinet ministers including Health Secretary Sophia Chan and Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung lined up to get vaccinated after her.
Lam appealed to all residents to take the vaccine during a press briefing following her vaccination.
“This requires the full collaboration of the people of Hong Kong to help Hong Kong’s society to recover as soon as possible.”
Health Secretary Chan told Reuters the government was trying to reassure residents worried about taking Sinovac, stating that standards had not been lowered to accept the vaccine and that there was no pressure from Beijing to get it approved.
One million doses of the Sinovac vaccine arrived from Beijing in the former British colony on Friday. Hong Kong’s 7.5 million residents can get vaccinated from Feb 26 after applying online.