COVAX is an initiative co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization (WHO). It aims to accelerate the development and manufacture of Covid-19 vaccine and to ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine, especially to developing countries.
Latest figures released by WHO showed that the global picture of access to Covid-19 vaccines is still unacceptable. Only 20 percent of people in low- and lower-middle-income countries have received the first dose of vaccine, compared to 80 percent in high- and upper-middle-income countries.
Explaining their decision, the SAR government said their Covid vaccine supply would be sufficient, as the 15 million doses of Sinovac and BioNTech vaccines can cover the city's entire population for two doses.
As both manufacturers can continue to provide stable supplies of the vaccine to Hong Kong, the 7.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine purchased need not to be delivered to the city.
The vaccines will instead be donated to COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC) Eligible Economies, and will delivered before the second quarter of 2022 in batches.
A spokesperson said the SAR government will maintain participation in COVAX for access to other types of vaccines, and stressed that the government will only make the purchase after carefully considering the needs of Hong Kong and relevant scientific evidence.
The government will keep pushing the vaccination rate, especially for elderly aged 70 or above, and discuss with health experts over the booster dose of the vaccine, the spokesperson said.
As of Monday, over 67 percent of the city's population have received the first dose of the vaccine.
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