Macao suspends AstraZeneca vaccine order
SSM calls for further investigation after possible link detected between AstraZeneca and blood clots.
The newly appointed director of the Health Bureau (SSM), Alvis Lo Iek Long, said today that he has contacted AstraZeneca’s manufacturers to suspend the supply to Macao, which had been scheduled to arrive in the third quarter.
Lo said that the government will analyse more international reports and studies on the vaccine’s safety before deciding on the next step. Other policy recommendations from different countries and regions will also be taken into consideration.
Pointing to the World Health Organization’s recent statement on the use of AstraZeneca, Lo said that the WHO believes the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks and that it can continue to be used in high-risk areas. As both parties are obliged to ensure the safety of the vaccines, the government will communicate closely with AstraZeneca manufacturers.
As Macao’s current vaccine stock of Sinopharm and German BioNTech are sufficient, Lo said the need for AstraZeneca is not urgent. The more immediate task, said Lo, is to encourage more residents to get vaccinated.
The government had previously planned to order 400,000 doses of AstraZeneca-Oxford adenovirus vector vaccines.