Source: Hong Kong Information Services
The Government today said the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines is solely based on prevailing scientific evidence, adding that its goal is to provide as early as possible the safest and most effective vaccines for Hong Kong’s entire population.
It made the statement in response to rumours on social media that the Government’s procurement of vaccines is a political decision for transfer of benefits to the Mainland or individual companies.
Noting that the relevant rumours are completely unfounded and the rumour mongers act with evil intentions in disregard of public interest, the Government expressed deep regret over the malicious act of spreading rumours on public health affairs.
It pointed out that the three vaccines purchased by the Government, an inactivated virus vaccine from Sinovac Biotech (Hong Kong), a nucleic acid vaccine from Fosun Pharma/German drug developer BioNTech and a viral vector vaccine from AstraZeneca/University of Oxford, are frontrunners in terms of the progress of scientific research and technology development as well as clinical trials from the three respective technology platforms.
The Government explained that the decision on procurement of the relevant vaccines was reached after making reference to experts’ views on candidate vaccines and having considered factors such as the quantity and timing of supply, logistics and storage methods.
It stressed that its decision was based on safety, efficacy, quality and supply considerations and did not in any way involve political factors.
The Government also stated that all vaccines must first satisfy relevant procedures, including completion of phase 3 clinical trials and obtaining emergency use approval by the local jurisdiction’s drug regulatory authority and Hong Kong under the emergency legislation which is under preparation to ensure the vaccines’ safety, efficacy and quality.
As the vaccine supply in the initial stage will be tight due to extremely vigorous global competition, the Government will strive for the early delivery for the vaccines to Hong Kong while continuing to negotiate advance purchase agreements with vaccine developers.
The Government said it will also, having regard to the latest scientific evidence and clinical data, continue to consult the experts for finalising the detailed arrangements for the vaccination programme so that the public can receive vaccination as early as possible.
It reiterated its deep regret over the spread of false information or attempts to politicise issues on public health, which severely affect society’s solidarity in combating the epidemic.
The Government will continue to step up transparency on information dissemination to strengthen the public’s confidence towards the vaccines, it added.