Hong Kong halts use of Pfizer vaccine

Hong Kong has suspended use of the Pfizer vaccine after its Chinese distributor said one batch had defective bottle lids.

The city’s government said the suspension was immediate while the matter is investigated by distributor Fosun Pharma and BioNTech, the German company which created the vaccine with American pharmaceutical firm Pfizer.

BioNTech and Fosun Pharma have not found any reason to believe the product is unsafe, according to the statement. However, vaccinations will be halted as a preventive and safety measure.

Macao also said Wednesday that residents would not receive the Pfizer vaccinations from the affected batch.

The suspension of the Pfizer jab means the only vaccine currently offered to residents is China’s Sinovac vaccine.

Some residents who had appointments on Wednesday morning stood in line outside a community centre administering the Pfizer vaccinations in the city’s Sai Ying Pun neighbourhood.

They eventually left the centre when it became apparent that no vaccines would be administered.

As of 8pm local time on Tuesday, 403,000 people have received vaccines in the city, of which 150,200 had received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

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