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Last Trade - 16/04/21

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Market Cap £26.46bn
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Hong Kong expands vaccine programme to teachers, taxi drivers

Mon 8th March, 2021 8:32am
HONG KONG, March 8 (Reuters) - Hong Kong's top officials
said on Monday that the city's vaccine programme would be
expanded to include more priority groups including teachers and
delivery workers, as fears grow over a series of adverse
reactions following the vaccine rollout. 
    At least two people have died and several fallen seriously
ill after receiving a vaccination by China's Sinovac. The
government has said it is still assessing the causality between
the incidents and the vaccine and would report findings as soon
as possible.
    Around 93,000 people have been vaccinated since the public
rollout started on Feb 26.
    "These serious adverse events are of much concern to us,"
Sophia Chan, the city's health secretary, told a news briefing
on Monday. "We are still uncertain whether it was related to the
vaccine. Once we have any information or conclusions, we would
report the details to the public."
    Bookings for vaccinations have dropped in recent days
according to government figures that show around 4,900 people
booked their Sinovac vaccine on March 5, compared with 12,300
people on March 3.
    Chan said people who were unsure about their own medical
situation should consult a doctor before booking the vaccine.
    Hong Kong is due to start administering the Pfizer/BioNTech
vaccine  PFE.N   22UAy.DE  this week. Until now Sinovac has been
the only option available.
    Patrick Nip, the city's secretary for the civil service, who
was speaking at the same news conference, said seven additional
preferential groups would be allowed to apply for vaccines
including, those working in catering, in supermarkets and
convenient stores and public transport workers such as bus
drivers.
    To try to assuage fears, Matthew Cheung, the city's
secretary for administration, wrote on his blog on Sunday that
the government would do a "good job of vaccination monitoring
and respond to social concerns to protect public health and give
citizens peace of mind".

 (Reporting by Farah Master; Editing by Alex Richardson)
 ((farah.master@thomsonreuters.com; +852 3462 7709;))
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