Hong Kong could end up throwing away two million unused Covid-19 jabs

Hong Kong officials warned on Tuesday that millions of unused Covid-19 vaccines will soon need to be disposed of as people are reluctant to take the jab.

Around two million Pfizer shots will expire in three months time with less than 20% of the residents having received a jab. Image: Pixabay

CAPE TOWN, May 26 (ANA) – Hong Kong officials warned on Tuesday that millions of unused Covid-19 vaccines will soon need to be disposed of as people are reluctant to take the jab.

According to the BBC, around two million Pfizer shots will expire in three months time with less than 20% of the residents having received a jab.

Distrust of the government, relatively low number of infections and online misinformation have led to the hesitancy of getting vaccinated.

Channel NewsAsia, a Singapore-based broadcaster, reported that the city bought two batches of 7.5 million doses of Pfizer and China’s Sinovac, and is one of the few places in the world that has secured more than enough vaccines for the whole population.

“They cannot be used after the expiry date and the community vaccination centres for BioNTech will, according to present plans, cease operating after September,” former controller of the Centre for Health Protection, Thomas Tsang, told RTHK radio.

He added while the rest of the world are “scrambling for vaccines” it’s not right for Hongkongers to waste the huge stockpile and that new doses would not likely be delivered until next year.

Meanwhile, some local officials have suggested they export the unused vaccines to countries in need if no improvement is shown in their inoculation drive.

Al Jazeera reported that the hesitancy for the vaccine is even among the city’s front line medical workers with the Hospital Authority revealing that only one third of its staff had taken the vaccine.

The city had long quarantine measures in place and strict physical distancing rules which kept infection rate low.

– African News Agency (ANA); Edited by Naomi Mackay

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