A first batch of one million doses will arrive in Hong Kong from China as early as next month.
Hong Kong has ordered a total of 15 million doses, half from China’s Sinovac Biotech and the other from Pfizer / BioNTech. Pfizer / BioNTech vaccines, via continental supplier Fosun Pharma, are expected to start arriving no earlier than the first quarter of 2021, the government said.
China has granted emergency use status to a candidate vaccine from Sinovac Biotech, as well as two more from Sinopharm, although they are still in the testing stage and have not released data on the safety or effectiveness of their vaccines.
Lawmaker Leung Che-cheung suggested that residents who fear vaccines are unsafe or have a wait-and-see attitude could be motivated to get the vaccine with a cash reward of HKD 5,000.
“If there is a document, it could serve as an encouragement to those who go with the flow and have wanted to observe for a longer period of time,” The Standard newspaper reported.
In response to Leung’s suggestion, which was first made at a government panel meeting, Health Minister Sophia Chan said authorities would launch a campaign to educate residents about the benefits of the vaccine.
“As for the legislators’ suggestions, we would certainly consider them if the circumstances permit,” she added.