Macao’s Covid-19 vaccination drive will start on Tuesday, Health Bureau’s Director Lei Chin Ion announced today.
Lei made the announcement on the sidelines of a ceremony that marked the delivery of 100,000 Sinopharm jabs from mainland China at the Zhuhai-Macao Cross-Border Industrial Park checkpoint this afternoon. The vaccines arrived in Macao by freezer truck after a 30-hour drive from Beijing.
According to Lei, health workers will be the first to be vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. Lei said that apart from health workers, firefighters, police officers and drivers, as well as all those who need to travel to high-risk Covid-19 areas, will be among the first to be vaccinated.
In light of the lack of comprehensive Phase 3 data on the vaccine, he also vowed to get the first jab himself as a display of his faith in the drug. “I am confident in the vaccines … soon after the medics get vaccinated around the Lunar New Year, we will open for public registration,” he said.
The Sinopharm vaccine has reportedly an efficacy of 79 per cent and is not suitable for people aged over 60. Sinopharm, officially known as China National Pharmaceutical Group Corp., is a Beijing-based state-owned enterprise.
The 100,000 vaccines are sufficient for 50,000 people, considering that each person requires two jabs. Macao’s total population is around 680,000.
The Macao government has said that all residents, non-resident workers and non-local students will be offered free Covid-19 jabs on a voluntary basis.
According to the Macau Post Daily, the government has said it also plans to import Germany’s BioNTech and the Anglo-Swedish Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines. The BioNTech vaccines will be supplied by Shanghai-based Fosun Pharma.