Pfizer and Moderna have been largely quiet since competitor AstraZeneca became embroiled in the latest, and biggest, safety scandal to rock public confidence in the company’s COVID-19 jab, which had been intended to be the workhorse of the WHO’s global vaccination campaign, since it’s cheap and relatively easy to transport and store.
But Pfizer, at least, might soon have to deal with a problem of its own. Because the South China Morning Post reported Wednesday that they had suspended vaccinations using the Pfizer-BioNTech after local frontline staff discovered more than 50 instances of defective packaging, like cracked and leaking vials.
Here’s more from the SCMP.
The city government on Wednesday announced the cancellation of bookings at all 21 community vaccination centres providing the German-made jab “until further notice”. The suspension of the scheme came as Hong Kong recorded 10 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday. Director of Health Dr Constance Chan Hon-yee told a press conference that staff working on Hong Kong’s Covid-19 vaccination programme had previously reported eight incidents of cracked BioNTech vials and 22 air pressure issues resulting in leaks, all of which she said had been relayed to the manufacturer.
A further 16 reports of vial seals being loose or out of position were made, as well as 11 relating to the identification of stains or marks on the exterior of the glass containers.
The broken and otherwise compromised vials were traced back to batch 210102, according to Hong Kong authorities. Out of the 585K-dose batch – the set of doses triggering the suspension until further notice – about a quarter, or 150K, have already been consumed. Hong Kong has at least one other batch available; supply of batch 210104 had not yet been tapped and all of its 758K doses were in storage. – READ MORE
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