HONG KONG, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) - Matthew Cheung, chief secretary for administration of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, said on Sunday that the arrival of the first batch of mainland-manufactured COVID-19 vaccines in Hong Kong will not only strengthen Hong Kong's anti-epidemic work, but also help people to return to normal life.
Cheung said in his blog that the central government attached great importance to Hong Kong's epidemic situation and cared deeply about Hong Kong people's health. The first batch of 1 million doses of vaccines produced by Sinovac Biotech arrived in Hong Kong from Beijing on Friday marked a new milestone in Hong Kong's fighting against COVID-19.
The HKSAR government has launched a territory-wide free COVID-19 vaccination program and priority vaccination will be arranged for five groups of people, including healthcare staff, elderly people and people providing essential public services, Cheung said, urging people to actively participate in it.
The program will open for online appointments starting from Feb. 23. People can receive the jabs at five community vaccination centers and 18 general out-patient clinics of Hong Kong's Hospital Authority starting from Feb. 26.
More than a thousand private doctors participating in the program are also expected to administer the Sinovac vaccine before mid-March, Cheung added.
Cheung also said that the first batch of one million doses of the Fosun Pharma/BioNTech vaccine are expected to arrive by the end of this month and people can receive the jabs at 24 community vaccination centers.