Shipment from mainland spurs Macao virus relief
Workers transfer COVID-19 vaccines made on the Chinese mainland after they were delivered to Macao on Saturday. The 100,000 doses of mainland-produced Sinopharm vaccines were the first to arrive in Macao. Inoculations will begin this week. CHEONG KAM KA/XINHUA
Medical workers in Macao are expected to become on Tuesday the first in the Special Administrative Region to receive COVID-19 vaccines following the arrival of 100,000 doses of the mainland-produced Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines in the city on Saturday afternoon.
After a handover ceremony for the vaccines on Saturday, Lei Chin-ion, director of the Health Bureau of Macao, said once frontline medical workers are vaccinated, priority will be given on a voluntary basis to other high-risk groups, such as police, firefighters and workers at border ports, schools and casinos.
Vaccinations for the rest of the public will come after that, he said.
The COVID-19 vaccines that arrived on Saturday are the first delivered to the SAR, according to the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Center of Macao, which thanked the central authorities for their support.
The center said the Sinopharm vaccine has been approved by the National Medical Products Administration, China's top drug regulator, and has been used in many other countries.
Last month, the Macao government announced the SAR would offer free vaccinations to Macao ID holders, employees from elsewhere who work in the SAR and non-local students studying in the city.
The Health Bureau said in a statement that the government would strive to have another 400,000 doses of Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines delivered to the city as soon as possible.
Another 100,000 doses of vaccines produced by Fosun Pharma/BioNTech are expected to arrive by the end of February and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines will come in June.
The People's Liberation Army delivered a shipment of COVID-19 vaccines to the Pakistani and Cambodian militaries, at their request, and with the approval of the Central Military Commission, the Ministry of National Defense said on Sunday.
The Pakistani and Cambodian armies are the first foreign militaries to receive COVID-19 vaccine aid from the Chinese military, the ministry said in a statement.
The PLA will continue to make contributions to building a global community of health for all, the statement said.