Hong Kong has received its first batch of one million doses of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine. The batch landed at Hong Kong International Airport at 17:30 local time today (19 February). Senior government executives visited the apron, escorted by airline staff, and observed the arrival handling.
At 17:41, the Cathay Pacific flight CX39, which departed from Beijing, arrived at Stand E3. The ramp staff opened the cargo and unloaded six Envirotainer temperature-controlled containers. This container is the latest type of temperature-controlled air cargo container. With the capacity of five Euro pallets or four US pallets, the containers are an ideal tool for pharmaceutical shipments, including vaccines, medications, and biohazardous material. Real-time temperature monitoring ensures temperatures the vaccines are kept are in the selected +2 to +8 °C range.
The container is also capable of handling any chosen set temperature between ±0 and +25 °C in extreme pharmaceutical industry requirements. The cargo team successfully returned all boxes to the airline’s cargo terminal within the company service standard, 65 minutes, collected by the fleet of trucks from the local logistics company for delivery, and arrived at the distribution warehouse at 19:00.
Secretary for the Civil Service, Patrick Nip, said that he was happy to see the first batch of one million doses of the vaccine and noted that the shipment was very timely and coped with the needs. He also expressed gratitude to the central government and Sinovac for the full support.
A pandemic milestone
Professor Sophia Chan, the Secretary for Food and Health, said today is a critical moment and a pandemic milestone. She mentioned that the Hong Kong government attaches a significant priority to vaccines. Hong Kong’s universal vaccine plan emphasises the emergency use of vaccines by experts and the vaccines are safe, effective, and of high quality. She hopes the general public would support the vaccine promotion project and urged the citizens to get the vaccine to increase the vaccine’s effectiveness.
Chou Hong, the deputy director of the Liaison Office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, said today is an important day and fully reflects the strong support of the central government and mainland vaccine suppliers to Hong Kong. She mentioned that the new epidemic is a significant public health challenge that has not been encountered globally in a century, and vaccines are a precious resource to deal with the challenge and fight the epidemic.
Vaccine by Hong Kong
The Hong Kong government will launch a vaccination plan starting from 26 February. Twenty-nine community vaccination centres will be opened across Hong Kong and priority will be given to certain groups of citizens, including people aged 60 or above, medical personnel, civil service personnel and flight crew members. Citizens can make appointments online three days before.