Next batch of BioNTech jabs will be delayed

On the 100th day since the local vaccination scheme was rolled out, the minister in charge of the programme, Patrick Nip said on Saturday the next batch of BioNTech shots will be delayed, so as to avoid any wastage.

He explained on a radio programme that it’s because Hong Kong people have not been “active and enthusiastic” about getting inoculated when compared to other places, but vaccines usually expire in three to four months.

He reassured listeners that does not mean there will not be any more BioNTech shots in the future, but he “could not promise” when the next batch would be arriving.

“I appeal to all the relevant sectors to promote and get vaccinated, because the next three months are really very important, and please get your first jab by the end of August,” he said, adding that it is the key to continuing to having zero local cases with unknown sources.

To speed up the vaccination rate, Nip said he will discuss with schools next week the arrangements for pupils aged 12 to 15 to get their shots.

“We would arrange very convenient and multiple channels to enable students, parents and teachers to get vaccinated,” he said.

The secretary said most likely pupils will get the shots at community centres themselves, while some would be sent from schools to centres, and some others would stay at schools for the jabs.

He said he hoped to release details of the arrangements next week.