Hong Kong, Macau Stop Using BioNTech Vaccine Due To Packaging Problem | News on the coronavirus pandemic
The temporary suspension comes after the cap defect was reported, as authorities say there is no issue with the safety of the vaccine.
Hong Kong and Macau have suspended use of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines due to a defect in the packaging of a batch of doses, officials said on Wednesday.
The vials with lot number 210102 were found to have faulty packaging, authorities said, and an investigation was underway.
“As a precaution, the current vaccination should be suspended during the investigation period,” the Hong Kong government said in a statement.
Vaccinations using a second batch – 210104 – have also been suspended, he added. He did not say whether this batch was affected in the same way.
The two Chinese territories said they made the decision to suspend use of the vaccine after being contacted by Fosun Industrial, the Chinese pharmaceutical company that distributes the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in China.
Neither gave details of how the packaging was faulty, but said they didn’t think there were any safety risks.
Several vaccination centers around Hong Kong have been urged to stop using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to notices seen by residents on Wednesday morning.
Some people took to social media to say their appointments that day had been canceled and some vaccination centers had been closed.
The BioNTech vaccine is one of two vaccines in Hong Kong’s mass immunization program and should be stored at ultra-cold temperatures of -70 degrees Celsius. It also uses Sinovac, a vaccine developed in China.