The Health Bureau’s (SSM) Control of Communicable Diseases and Surveillance of Diseases Department Coordinator Leong Iek Hou said during Monday’s press conference that the Macao government is confident that the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines will be delivered to Macao early next year, covering some 150,000 residents comprising frontline medical workers and high-risk people.
The Health Bureau said last week that the Macao government will purchase 1.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to cover the city’s whole population as each person will need two shots in order for the vaccine to be effective. According to official statistics, Macao had a population – comprising residents and non-resident workers – of 685,400 at the end of the second quarter.
The Health Bureau has said that once Macao is able to purchase COVID-19 vaccines, the elderly, chronically ill patients and anti-COVID-19 medical workers will be the first to get vaccinated.
Leong said on Monday that the 1.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to be bought by the government are expected to be delivered to Macao in phases, adding that therefore it will first vaccinate medical workers and high-risk residents, namely the elderly and chronically ill patients who are more easily subject to complications after being infected with the novel coronavirus disease.
Lo pointed out that about 200 COVID-19 vaccines are under development worldwide, nine of which are currently undergoing the third phase of clinical trials. Lo underlined that Macao has joined the global vaccine collective procurement initiative – known as COVAX Facility, which will guarantee that Macao will be able to purchase COVID-19 vaccines covering 20 per cent of its population.
Macao has not recorded a new COVID-19 case for 94 days, while no local case has been confirmed in 183 days.