Addressing Monday’s weekly press conference about Macao’s novel coronavirus situation, the Health Bureau’s (SSM) Control of Communicable Diseases and Surveillance of Diseases Department Coordinator Leong Iek Hou said that Macao’s first Covid-19 vaccines will be available in the current quarter and that the BioNTech vaccines purchased by the Macao government are only for those aged at least 16.
Leong also noted that the Sinopharm vaccines purchased by the local government are also only for certain age ranges.
The Macao government announced last month that it has purchased 1.2 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines developed by three vaccine developers, comprising 400,000 doses of inactivated vaccines developed by Beijing-based China National Pharmaceutical Group (also known as Sinopharm), 400,000 doses of mRNA vaccines developed by Germany’s BioNTech, and 400,000 doses of adenovirus vector vaccines jointly developed by the Anglo-Swedish joint venture of AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
In December the Macao government said that it expected the first batches of the Sinopharm and BioNTech vaccines to be delivered to Macao in the first quarter of this year, while the first batch of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines was expected to arrive in the second quarter of this year. The government said at that time that the first batches of the Sinopharm, BioNTech and AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines to be delivered to Macao would each consist of at least 100,000 doses.
Leong reaffirmed on Monday that the first batches of the Covid-19 vaccines purchased by the government will be delivered in the current quarter. Leong said that the government was now formulating its Covid-19 vaccination programme, such as appointment arrangements for vaccinations, and the groups of residents who will be the first to get vaccinated, adding that it was also following up on how the vaccines will be delivered to Macao.
Leong noted that each kind of Covid-19 vaccine is only for certain age ranges. Leong said that for instance, the BioNTech vaccine is only for those aged at least 16, while the Sinopharm vaccine is also only for certain age ranges.
In the mainland, the National Health Commission (NHC) has said that all domestically developed Covid-19 vaccines are only for people aged between 18 and 59.
Leong said that the Health Bureau will assess the Covid-19 vaccine age matter based on the information provided by the respective vaccine producers, adding that when the bureau begins its Covid-19 vaccination drive, it will inform residents about the suitable age groups of the respective Covid-19 vaccines.
Leong also noted that according to the Macao government’s administrative regulation on its vaccination programme, local residents’ Covid-19 jabs provided by the government will be free of charge, while non-locals will have to pay. Leong said that the Macao government was currently studying whether non-resident workers will be charged for the Covid-19 shots.
“We will consider the matter based on the [respective] regulation and the latest development of the Covid-19 pandemic situation,” Leong said, adding that the government hasn’t decided yet whether non-resident workers will be charged for the Covid-19 shots.
(Bureau of Consular Affairs/Macao News)
Photo by Government Information Bureau (GCS)