10,000 BioNTech jabs to arrive in Macau at weekend

2021-06-16 03:38     Comment:1

Addressing yesterday’s press conference about Macau’s novel coronavirus situation, Tai Wa Hou, a clinical director of the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre, announced that about 10,000 doses of BioNTech mRNA vaccine will be delivered to Macau from Germany via Hong Kong at the end of this week.

It’s the fourth batch of the German jabs to be delivered to Macau.

The announcement came after the number of BioNTech doses left in Macau would be insufficient to meet residents’ needs in the near future.

Tai said that about 15,000 BioNTech doses were still in stock as of yesterday. On average, about 1,000 BioNTech doses have recently been administered per day, Tai said, adding that the Health Bureau (SSM) expects the current stock of BioNTech’s mRNA doses to be used up in two weeks.

Tai reaffirmed that due to the short validity of only six months, the local government has asked the BioNTech vaccine supplier to deliver mRNA jabs in small quantities each time so as to avoid waste due to vaccine expiration, while also ensuring that the number of BioNTech doses available in Macau is always sufficient for residents to get their jabs.

Tai also reassured residents that the Health Bureau will ensure that those who have had their first BioNTech jab will be able to receive their second shot.

Two types of COVID-19 vaccines are currently available in Macau, China’s Sinopharm inactivated vaccine and Germany’s BioNTech mRNA vaccine. Currently, Sinopharm jabs are administered to those aged 18 or over in Macau, while BioNTech shots are given to those aged 16 or over. The Macau government announced early this month that it will lower the minimum age for BioNTech jabs from 16 to 12, but this measure has still to get off the ground.

Another 200,000 Sinopharm jabs

Tai also said that about 270,000 Sinopharm doses were still left as of yesterday, which he said would be sufficient for potential vaccinees to get their jabs for the next one to two months. Tai also reaffirmed that the Macau government has ordered another 200,000 Sinopharm doses, adding that it would ask the manufacturer in Beijing to deliver the doses to Macau depending on the number of doses still left in Macau.

Macau has so far purchased 500,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccine and all of them were delivered to Macau early this year. In addition, Macau has ordered a total of 400,000 doses of BioNTech vaccine. Three batches of BioNTech jabs have so far been delivered to Macau – 100,425 doses in the first batch, 19,500 doses in the second batch and 29,250 doses in the third batch. Over 90,000 BioNTech doses from the first batch were not administered as some of its vials affected by packaging defects in March were later sent back to Germany for disposal.

The first batch of 100,425 BioNTech doses was delivered to Macau in late February. However, Macau’s BioNTech vaccinations were suspended on March 24 after the manufacturer detected packaging defects in some of the vials in the batch. The inoculations were resumed on April 5 after the second batch of 19,500 doses was delivered to Macau on April 2. The third batch of 29,250 BioNTech doses was delivered to Macau on April 3.

The Macau government said late last month that it has ordered another 200,000 Sinopharm doses – in addition to the 500,000 doses that have already been delivered to Macau.

The Macau government announced in April that it has requested AstraZeneca to suspend the delivery of its COVID-19 vaccine to Macau. The local government reaffirmed later the same month that the AZ jabs that it had ordered will not be delivered to Macau this year.

Macau has not recorded a new COVID-19 case for five days, while no local case has been confirmed in 443 days. The city confirmed its latest and 52nd COVID-19 case on Wednesday last week, which has been classified as imported.

Macau has recorded 52 COVID-19 cases since January 22 last year, 50 of which have been classified as imported, while two cases have been classified as “connected to imported cases”. The first 51 patients have been cured and discharged from hospital, and no fatalities have been reported in Macau, which has been spared a community transmission of the novel coronavirus disease.

As of 4 p.m. yesterday, 261,228 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered to 181,797 people in Macau, comprising 101,141 who had received their first jab and 80,656 who had received their second jab.

According to the website of the Health Bureau’s COVID-19 vaccination programme, the 261,228 doses of COVID-19 vaccine that had been administered as of 4 p.m. yesterday comprised 223,343 Sinopharm jabs (85.5 percent of the total) and 37,885 BioNTech jab (14.5 percent of the total).

A total of 24 adverse events were reported in the past 24 hours (until 4 p.m. yesterday). The total number of adverse events since the start of the vaccination drive stood at 1,050, or 0.4 percent of the total number of jabs, including three serious cases.

New NAT station at Hengqin checkpoint

Meanwhile, a new nucleic acid testing (NAT) station at the Macau-side checkpoint zone of the mainland-Macau joint border checkpoint in Hengqin comes into service today. The new NAT station is run by Namyue Medical Technology Company Limited in collaboration with the Health Bureau. A nucleic acid test costs 70 patacas at the new NAT station, which opens from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily, with 500 places available per day.

The opening of the new NAT station was announced in Monday’s COVID-19 press conference.

Tai Wa Hou, 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: GCS

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  • visitors2021061918:272021-06-19 18:27

    6月15日晚上,應變協調中心公佈由香港回來18歲澳門居民弱陽性而暫不列作確診的個案,因為距上次確診時間較長 (曾於2020年12月在香港確診),所以須作進一步檢測以判斷是復陽抑或是再次感染。6月16日記者會梁亦好表示,初步認為屬復陽機會較大,正等待他的病毒基因測序結果,如果與香港確診時的基因排序相似和高度同源,可判為復陽情況 (不會列為個案),如屬再次感染,則列為個案。6月17日記者會梁亦好表示,弱陽性病毒量太少,實驗室無法做到病毒基因測序,資料暫時顯示他的病毒為D614G,2020年12月香港正流行這個病毒,故該個案是復陽的可能性較高。會加密他的核酸檢測,若病毒量持續上升,是重新感染的可能性較高,若一直都是弱陽性甚或陰性,是復陽的機會較高。亦會檢測抗體濃度,協助判斷是復陽抑或是再次感染。6月18日記者會再有傳媒提問此個案 (當天TDM電台有此新聞),梁亦好給出類似6月17日的回應。