The SAR could get a vaccine before the end of the year.
Macau.- The secretary for social affairs and culture, Elsie Ao Ieong U, has told the Legislative Assembly (AL) that the city could get emergency Covid-19 vaccines before the end of the year. The SAR will prioritise children, seniors and frontline health workers.
The Secretary said: “We are acquiring Covid-19 vaccines worldwide […] and negotiated with some pharmaceutical companies and labs producing vaccines […] In principle these emergency vaccines will be used for frontline workers who are most at risk such as medical staff, nurses or firefighters”.
The news comes after the chief executive was reported saying that no economic recovery in the country would be possible without a vaccine, despite the city not having reported any Covid-19 cases for 155 days.
Macau hopes to acquire 1.4m doses to cover the city’s population. The Secretary said doses for the general population are expected to arrive in the first half of next year.
Previous estimates by Health Bureau (SS) Director Lei Chin Ion suggested the cost for a Covid-19 vaccine would be MOP300 (US$37) per dose.
The SS Director said authorities had contacted six vaccine manufacturers from mainland China and overseas to purchase the required doses.
Macau has joined the global vaccine allocation plan jointly run by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Gavi vaccine alliance. However, the WHO will give priority to high-risk countries and communities. As result, Macau, where the pandemic is under control, is making its own negotiations directly with manufacturers.