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100,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines to arrive in Macau later this week: govt

2021-02-02 03:57     Comment:1

Addressing yesterday’s press conference about Macau’s novel coronavirus situation, Alvis Lo Iek Long, a clinical director of the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre, said that 100,000 doses of inactivated vaccines developed by Beijing-based China National Pharmaceutical Group (also known as Sinopharm) will be delivered to Macau later this week.

Lo said that thanks to its advance preparatory tasks, the local government expects to be able to start its administration of the Sinopharm vaccines for three groups of people first before or after the Chinese New Year (CNY) holiday period, namely 1) those working on the frontline against COVID-19, such as medical workers, firefighters and police officers, 2) those working in occupations that are subject to a high COVID-19 risk, such as public transport drivers and those working in the frozen food sector, and 3) those who need to travel to COVID-19 high-risk areas.

“In addition to medical workers, those working on the frontline against COVID-19 also include police officers and firefighters, as they would also be in contact with [potential] COVID-19 patients,” Lo said.

Lo also said that the local government now expects 100,000 doses of mRNA vaccines developed by Germany’s BioNTech to be delivered to Macau late next month, after which the vaccinations could start in the following month.

Lo also said that the local government now expects adenovirus vector vaccines jointly developed by the Anglo-Swedish joint venture of AstraZeneca and Oxford University to be delivered to Macau only in the third quarter at the earliest.

The new expected delivery time of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines mentioned by Lo yesterday would be behind the local government’s initial expected schedule – the second quarter of this year.

The Macau government announced in September that it aimed to purchase 1.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines covering the city’s whole population – two shots for each person.

The Macau government announced in December that it had purchased 1.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines developed by three vaccine developers, comprising 400,000 doses of Sinopharm inactivated vaccines, 400,000 doses of BioNTech mRNA vaccines, and 400,000 doses of AstraZeneca-Oxford adenovirus vector vaccines, apart from 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from the COVAX Facility – the global vaccine allocation plan jointly run by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

The Macau government said in December that it expected the first batches of the Sinopharm and BioNTech vaccines to be delivered to Macau in the first quarter of this year, while the first batch of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines was expected to arrive in Macau in the second quarter of this year. The government said at that time that the first batches of the Sinopharm, BioNTech and AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines to be delivered to Macau would each consist of at least 100,000 doses.

The Macau government also said in December that the 200,000 COVAX jabs were slated to be delivered to Macau in the fourth quarter of this year.

The Health Bureau (SSM) announced last week that in addition to local residents, non-resident workers and non-local students enrolled in Macau will be covered by the government’s free-of-charge COVID-19 vaccination drive.

Nation’s strong support

During yesterday’s press conference, Lo said that the local government “has just received some good news” about the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to Macau. Lo said that “thanks to the nation’s strong support”, 100,000 doses of Sinopharm inactivated vaccines will “very likely” be delivered to Macau within this week.

Lo also reaffirmed that Macau’s COVID-19 vaccinations will be carried out on a voluntary basis, including all those that the government has deemed will be in the first group to get vaccinated.

“The fact that the three groups of people will be given priority for the [COVID-19] vaccination will not prevent them from choosing whether or not to be vaccinated,” Lo said.

Lo also reaffirmed that the COVID-19 vaccines purchased by the local government will be sufficient for the whole population of the city. Lo also said that after the vaccination of the three groups of people, the government would then arrange to vaccinate the general population as soon as possible.

The local government has said that people will need to get the second shot four weeks after being given their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccination. The government has also said that most of those who have had the two jabs will develop COVID-19 immunity two weeks after.

Macau has not recorded a new COVID-19 case for 10 days, while no local case has been confirmed in 309 days.

Macau has recorded 47 COVID-19 cases since January 22 last year, 45 of which have been classified as imported, while two cases have been classified as “connected to imported cases”. The 47th case, a 43-year-old local woman, was confirmed in the early hours of January 22 this year, after she returned to Macau on an Air Macau flight from Tokyo the previous night.

The first 46 patients have all been cured and discharged from hospital, and no fatalities have been reported in Macau. The 47th COVID-19 patient, who had departed from Dubai to Tokyo via Singapore on January 19, is still undergoing treatment in the isolation ward of the public hospital.

Lo said yesterday that the 47th COVID-19 patient remained in a stable condition. The latest CT scan conducted on Saturday showed that she did not suffer from pneumonia. The patient has only suffered a slight fever occasionally without any other symptoms since she has been undergoing treatment in the public hospital’s isolation ward for 11 days so far, Lo said.

Serology tests

Meanwhile, Lo also said that the Health Bureau will carry out serology tests (also known as antibody tests) on the 108 passengers who are currently undergoing their 21-day quarantine after returning to Macau on two flights from Tokyo on January 21 shortly before the end of the quarantine period, so as to establish whether they had previously been infected with the novel coronavirus without any symptoms elsewhere before their return to Macau.

A total of 109 Macau residents who departed from 14 countries returned to Macau via the two Air Macau flights from Tokyo on January 21, one of whom was later confirmed as Macau’s 47th COVID-19 patient. So far all the 108 passengers who are still in quarantine have tested negative for COVID-19.


Alvis Lo Iek Long, one of the three clinical directors of the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre, addresses yesterday’s press conference about the city’s novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Photo: Tony Wong

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  • visitors2021020820:112021-02-08 20:11

    It should be: Lo also said that the local government now expects 100,000 doses of mRNA vaccines developed by Germany’s BioNTech to be delivered to Macau late THIS month, after which the vaccinations could start in the following month.

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