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SVA - Sinovac Biotech News Story

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Hong Kong leader gets China's Sinovac vaccine to bolster public confidence

Mon 22nd February, 2021 7:54am
HONG KONG, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam
received China's Sinovac vaccine on Monday together with top
officials at a live televised event to bolster public confidence
ahead of the vaccine's rollout in the global financial hub this
week. 
    Sinovac is the first COVID-19 vaccine to be introduced in
Hong Kong, ahead of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine set to arrive in
the Chinese special administrative region before the end of
February.
    The city's vaccine rollout has lagged other developed cities
and is far behind mainland China which started last July.
    Lam, dressed in a white t-shirt, was filmed receiving the
first vaccine in a centre set up at Hong Kong's central library.
Her cabinet ministers including Health Secretary Sophia Chan and
Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung lined up to
get vaccinated after her.
    Lam appealed to all residents to take the vaccine during a
press briefing following her vaccination.
    "This requires the full collaboration of the people of Hong
Kong to help Hong Kong's society to recover as soon as
possible."
    Health Secretary Chan told Reuters the government was trying
to reassure residents worried about taking Sinovac, stating that
standards had not been lowered to accept the vaccine and that
there was no pressure from Beijing to get it approved.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2KP0IS
    One million doses of the Sinovac vaccine arrived from
Beijing in the former British colony on Friday. Hong Kong's 7.5
million residents can get vaccinated from Feb 26 after applying
online.
    Residents will be allowed to choose the type of vaccine, the
government said.
    Anti-mainland sentiment has increased in Hong Kong since
2019 when protesters took to the streets to demonstrate against
what they see as Beijing's strengthening hold over the
territory.
    A January survey by the University of Hong Kong found that
fewer than 30% of people questioned said they would accept the
Sinovac vaccine. 
    Hong Kong has secured a total of 22.5 million doses of
COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Sinovac and AstraZenca. The city
has recorded around 10,800 cases since last January and 197
deaths. 


 (Reporting by Donny Kwok, Joyce Zhou and Yoyo Chow; writing by
Farah Master
Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
 ((farah.master@thomsonreuters.com; +852 3462 7709;))
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