Hong Kong (AP) – Hong Kong stopped using the Pfizer vaccine on Wednesday after its Chinese distributor informed the city that a batch contained a defective bottle cap.
The city government said the suspension was imminent while investigating distributor Fosun Pharma և BioNTech, the German company that developed the vaccine with US pharmaceutical company Pfizer.
The statement said that BioNTech և Fosun Pharma did not find any grounds to believe that the product was dangerous. However, vaccinations will be discontinued as a precautionary measure.
Defective caps were found on vaccines from batch number 210102. A separate batch of vaccines, 210104, will also not be used.
On Wednesday, Macau said residents would not receive the Pfizer vaccine from the affected population.
The government has said that all community centers in Hong Kong that administer the Pfizer vaccine have temporarily stopped vaccinating, and residents who have already been vaccinated on Wednesday should not apply to the centers.
Stopping the Pfizer vaccine means that the only vaccine currently offered to residents is the Chinese Sinovac vaccine. Both vaccines are the only ones offered to Hong Kong residents.
In the morning, some residents lined up outside the community center to administer the Pfizer vaccine in the city’s Sai Yin Pun district. They eventually left the center when it became clear that no vaccines would be given.
As of 8pm on Tuesday, 403,000 people in the city had been vaccinated, of which 150,200 had received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, compared with 252,800 who had received Sinovac.
This story has been corrected to indicate that the defective batch is 210102.