HKSAR chief executive, senior officials get vaccinated against COVID-19

HONG KONG, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) — Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam and some senior officials of the HKSAR government on Monday received their first shots of the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of a mass rollout starting later this week.

“I feel good and as you can see there is no adverse effect,” Lam said at a press briefing shortly after getting the jab.

Chief Secretary for Administration Matthew Cheung, Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng and Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan of the HKSAR government were among the officials receiving the vaccine on Monday.

Lam said she is confident in the vaccine and hopes the inoculation of government officials will let residents feel safe to get the vaccine.

Hong Kong will launch the vaccination campaign for its around 7.5 million residents from Friday as one million doses produced by Sinovac Biotech arrived last week after being approved for emergency use.

People in priority groups including health workers, the aged and cross-border truck drivers can book their two shots online from Tuesday.

Lam called on the public to actively participate in the vaccination program to let the coronavirus epidemic be contained at an early date so that the severely-battered economy can revive and cross-border travel can return to normal.

Apart from the Sinovac vaccine, one million doses developed by Fosun Pharma and BioNTech are expected to be shipped to Hong Kong by the end of this month.

The HKSAR government has secured a total of 22.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, enough to cover Hong Kong’s entire population.

The vaccination comes at a time when Hong Kong is grappling with the fourth wave of the coronavirus epidemic.

Hong Kong’s Center for Health Protection reported 16 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Monday, taking the total tally to 10,884. Of the new infections, 13 were locally transmitted, including four untraceable cases.

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