Sunday, March 7, 2021

Woman dies after receiving Sinovac vaccine, HK faces less than 10 cases

A woman has passed away after receiving the Sinovac Covid vaccine, marking the second death under the city’s mass inoculation drive, sources said.

This came as Hong Kong expects to see fewer than 10 cases today.

The woman, 55, suffered from stroke three days after receiving the Sinovac shot on Tuesday at the Kwun Chung Sports Centre. She was sent to the Kwong Wah Hospital on Friday and died that night.

Earlier this week, a 63-year-old man died two days after receiving the Sinovac vaccine. But an expert panel determined the man’s death was not directly linked to the mainland-produced jabs.

Professor Ivan Hung Fan Ngai, co-convenor of the Expert Committee on Clinical Events Assessment Following Covid-19 Immunization said an initial autopsy report showed that the ill man suffered from serious heart disease.

He said health authorities identified that three of the patient’s coronary vessels were blocked, one which was completely sealed and the other two were 70 to 90 percent clogged.

The patient also had pulmonary edema, shortness of breath and a respiratory failture which led to his death.

But experts will have to wait for a full report before making a final conclusion.

In a radio program, health minister Sophia Chan Siu-chee said a drop in Covid vaccines appointment is normal because citizens will take more time to consider the decision.

Chan made her remark this morning before the news about the woman’s death broke out.

She said vaccination appointments have reduced after the first patient died on February 28.

Daily online appointments for the Sinovac doses reported on Friday stood at about 4,900 – less than a third of bookings at around 18,000 on Tuesday before the man’s death.

Around 6,000 people have registered for the BioNTech jabs on Friday, far fewer than the 91,200 records when the system started accepting appointments on Wednesday.

But she assured the city’s mass inoculation drive would continue because the benefit still outweighs the risks, adding that the second batch of Sinovac vaccines would arrive within March.

The health chief also said officials would closely monitor the delivery schedule of AstraZeneca’s vaccines, as Italy had blocked the planned export destined for Australia after the manufacturer failed to meet European Union contract commitments.

According to the agreement with the supplier, the first batch was expected to arrive in Hong Kong in the second quarter of the year, Chan added.

Hong Kong’s vaccination scheme, which kicked off in late February with only Sinovac jabs, was set to roll out the second BioNTech shots for some member of priority groups from today.

The official launch of the seven vaccination centers for the Germany-US-produced vaccine is scheduled for next week.

On Friday, the city recorded 11 new Covid infections, taking the overall tally to 11,066, which included 201 related deaths.

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