HONG KONG — Hong Kong has approved the Chinese-developed Sinovac Biotech COVID-19 vaccine as health authorities in the semi-autonomous Chinese city prepare to begin large scale inoculations.
Hong Kong’s Secretary for Food and Health said “the benefits of authorizing the use of the COVID-19 vaccine by Sinovac for protecting against COVID-19 outweigh the risks,” in a news release Thursday.
The first batch around 1 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine will be delivered to Hong Kong “shortly,” with vaccinations across the territory of almost 7.5 million people to begin “as soon as possible.”
Even after vaccinations begin, the company will need to maintain a risk management program and provide the latest clinical data laboratory analysis certificates for each batch of vaccines, the statement said.
The announcement marks the latest piece of good news for the Asian financial hub as new daily cases fall into the single digits. Authorities on Thursday said they were reducing social distancing rules, including restarting indoor dining and reopening gyms, and plan to phase-in full judicial court services beginning on Monday.