Sinovac Bookings Drop in Hong Kong After BioNTech Suspension

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New bookings for vaccines made by China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. plummeted in Hong Kong the day after authorities suspended BioNTech SE’s shots, reflecting that already-low confidence in the city’s inoculation drive has fallen further.

Online bookings to get first and second doses of the Chinese-made vaccine fell 35% to about 4,500 people in the 24 hours through 8 p.m. Thursday, according to government data. The city temporarily suspended BioNTech on Wednesday morning after finding stains and tilted or loose caps on dozens of vials.

It remains unclear how long the BioNTech suspension will last.

A successful vaccination campaign is crucial to fully reopening Hong Kong’s pandemic-battered economy, but it has been hampered by public distrust of the Beijing-backed government and concerns over the efficacy and safety of Chinese-made vaccines.

Seven deaths and dozens of adverse reactions were reported following the first 160,000 doses of Sinovac’s shot, and residents began signing up in droves for BioNTech earlier this month after eligibility for inoculation was widened to adults aged 30-59 in a bid to boost the vaccination rate.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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