HK to donate 7.5m doses of AstraZeneca Covid jabs

The government announced on Tuesday that it would donate 7.5 million doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines it procured to Covax, the global vaccine-sharing programme.

Health Secretary Sophia Chan said that the whole batch – which had yet to be delivered to the SAR – would be given to Covax by the second quarter of next year.

She stressed the move is appropriate because Hong Kong has more supplies than it needs, with 15 million shots of Sinovac and BioNTech available.

“It is important for those places where we have sufficient vaccines, and if we have more than sufficient, then it would be most appropriate for us to donate through [the World Health Organisation’s] Covax facility, to those needy countries,” she said.

She said the recipients would be 92 economies with lower income, where only around 20 percent of the population have taken the first dose of Covid-19 jabs.

The minister said the decision to donate the jabs was made as Hong Kong’s epidemic situation is relatively stable.

University of Hong Kong epidemiologist Benjamin Cowling welcomed the move.

“I think it’s fantastic that in Hong Kong, we can donate those AstraZeneca vaccines to countries that really need them. Those vaccines are going to save lives in the coming weeks and the coming months,” he said.

Cowling also said the government could consider donating some of the Sinovac and BioNTech vaccines that are in stock but not urgently needed.
Last updated: 2021-10-12 HKT 19:15