Hong Kong, Macao Suspend BioNTech Vaccines Due To Packaging Defects


Hong Kong and Macao temporarily suspended Covid vaccines made by BioNTech SE due to a packaging defect, dealing a blow to cities’ efforts to revive their pandemic-hit economies.

Both governments said Wednesday they received notifications about packaging defects in vials of Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group Co., which has the rights to develop and market the injections in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. BioNTech and Fosun Pharma have launched an investigation into the problem and say there is no reason to believe the product’s safety is at risk, according to the Macau government statement.

A community vaccination center running BioNTech Covid-19 is temporarily closed on March 24.

Photographer: Kyle Lam / Bloomberg

The suspension marks the latest setback for Hong Kong’s launch of the vaccine, which has been held back by public distrust of the Beijing-backed government. While the acceptance of BioNTech’s jab had begun to exceed that of the shots fired by the Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech Ltd., concerns around packaging defect run the risk of eroding public confidence in both options.

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