Macao gears up for vaccination battle
Thousands get their free jabs, thousands more join the queue
Macao’s Covid-19 vaccination drive is on a roll, with 2,000 volunteers inoculated already and thousands more signed up for their first jab.
Leong Iek Hou, the Health Bureau’s (SSM) Control of Communicable Diseases and Surveillance of Diseases Department Coordinator, said that the first of a further 10,000 people who have registered will start receiving their free vaccinations next Monday when the government’s programme for all local residents is due to start.
The inoculation drive started last Tuesday covering priority groups such as medical workers, firefighters, police and customs officers, aircrew, public transport drivers, staff of social service facilities, teaching staff and casino workers.
The third phase of the vaccination campaign, targeting non-resident workers, non-local students enrolled in Macao and all other non-locals who hold a permit to stay in Macao – all of whom must pay MOP 250 for their jabs – will start after the government has assessed the success of the first two phases, and depending on the availability of vaccines in Macao.
All those who have been vaccinated will need a second shot four weeks later.
The SSM has said that most of those who have had both jabs will develop Covid-19 immunity after two weeks.
Vaccinations are carried out at two inoculation facilities at the public Conde de São Januário Hospital Centre, eight public health centres and two public health stations.
The first batch of inactivated vaccines developed by Beijing-based China National Pharmaceutical Group (also known as Sinopharm) – 100,000 doses – was delivered to Macau on 6 February. The government has ordered a total of 500,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines. The remaining 400,000 doses are due to be delivered to Macao at the end of this month.
Leong reaffirmed that as mRNA vaccines developed by Germany’s BioNTech will only be delivered to Macao late this month or early next month, no date has been set for when they will be put to use.
Leong urged residents “not to have a wait-and-see attitude” and to make an appointment to get jabs to protect themselves and their family members.
Alvis Lo Iek Long, a clinical director of the public hospital, noted that 5,000 places for Covid-19 vaccinations are available each day, adding that the government will increase the number of available places in line with the possible increase in the number of residents making an appointment for jabs.
According to Lo, Macau has not recorded a new Covid-19 case for 11 days, while no local case has been confirmed in 325 days.