Hong Kong approves Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use
Updated 14:49, 18-Feb-2021

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has formally approved the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac Biotech for emergency use, the HKSAR government said on Thursday.

The green light came after Tuesday's recommendation from a panel of experts, which said the vaccine's benefits outweighed the risks.

It makes the inactivated vaccine the second one to be allowed in the HKSAR following the mRNA vaccine developed by Fosun Pharma and BioNTech.

HKSAR Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said in a statement that the approval is necessary and in line with public interests.

The first batch of doses has departed from a manufacturing plant in Beijing and is expected to arrive in the SAR on Friday afternoon.

The HKSAR government will start the vaccination as soon as possible after necessary quality inspection.

The vaccine's Brazilian partner said on Wednesday that the vaccine is effective against the coronavirus variants first detected in UK and South Africa, citing test results in Chinese trials.

(With input from Xinhua News Agency)

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