HK to resume offering Pfizer vaccinations
Hong Kong will resume administering the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech on Monday following a 12-day suspension over packaging defects detected in one batch.
A 300,000 dose batch is due to arrive in Hong Kong on Firday that was produced and packaged at a different plant to the two batches whose use was halted by authorities, Civil Service Secretary Patrick Nip said on Thursday.
Health officials said an investigation by BioNTech found no safety issues in the batch with packaging defects for some vials, as well as in a separate, unused batch of the vaccine.
“BioNTech believes that the efficacy of the vaccine has not been affected, so members of the public who have taken the BioNTech vaccine need not be worried,” said Constance Chan, Hong Kong’s director of health.
Random checks will also be stepped up to ensure that vaccine packaging is safe, she said.
Citing BioNTech’s own analysis, Chan said the problem in some vials had been traced to how caps reacted to the minus 70 degrees Celsius temperatures the vaccine must be kept in for storage.
When the vials were defrosted to be prepared for administering, she said, air sometimes leaked in.
Residents who missed their vaccine appointments due to the suspension will be rescheduled.