Wednesday, March 24, 2021

The suspension of the BioNTech vaccine in Hong Kong fuels distrust in the government as well as puts a damper on the territory's vaccination program

This vaccination center (for the Sinovac vaccine) is still 
administering vaccines for those who want them
However, this vaccination center's operations (involving the 
administering of BioNTech vaccines) has been (temporarily) suspended!
It could be said to be a measure of how "everyday" political persecution in Hong Kong has become though in that neither was considered to be the biggest news of the day.  Rather, what caused the territory to be all abuzz for much of todayy was the news of the suspension of the administering of the BioNTech vaccine in Hong Kong and Macau over packaging flaws.  

What seems to have been behind this is that the authorities received a written notice from the vaccine’s Hong Kong and Macau supplier, Chinese company Fosun, saying that a batch – numbered 210102 – had defective lids. The issue posed no safety risk to the public, a government press release cited Fosun as saying  But both the Hong Kong and Macau governments decided to temporarily suspend the administering of the BioNTech vaccine anyway, to be super safe.

While the exercising of caution is to be admired to some extent, one can't help but wonder whether they would have done the same if the vaccine concerned had been the Sinovac (which, for the record, has yet to be approved for use by such as the World Health Organization).  Put another way: there is a strong sense in Hong Kong that "politics and pleasing the mainland [has become] more important than public health".  
Also, why -- if the medical decisions are not affected by politics -- is it that the BioNTech vaccinations have been (temporarily) suspended despite those vials of the vaccine suspected to having been damaged having been disposed of before use and everyone who took the BioNTech vaccinations appearing to be safe but the Sinotec vaccinations have not despite at least seven deaths being associated with those who have been administered them?!  To be sure, a panel of experts have concluded today that the deaths in Hong Kong of people who have had vaccines for the Wuhan coronavirus were *probably* not linked to the vaccines.  But even so, right?
This I know: these shennanigans are hardly going to convince those on the "wait and see" fence -- of which there are many in Hong Kong -- that they should feel super confident about Hong Kong's coronavirus vaccine program.  Ironically enough, it appears that the majority of those who already have taken the BioNTech vaccine also aren't all that concerned about their physical safety and, if anything, are taking comfort in knowing that a few weeks' delay of their taking the second shot of the vaccine won't unduly affect its efficacy.     

Something else that helps puts people's minds at ease as far as the Wuhan coronavirus in Hong Kong is concerned is that Hong Kong is back to single digits for new daily local infections: with just 4 recorded today.  I wish I could offer up similar promising news about the overall situation in Hong Kong.  Instead, I can only report that Hong Kongers are generally not feeling positive with regards to Hong Kong post the implementation of China's security law in this territory, and justifiably so. :(  

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