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CE begins visit to Xi'an

Chief Executive Carrie Lam left Chongqing for Xi'an today and began her visit programme in Shaanxi Province.   After arriving in Xi'an, she met Shaanxi Governor Zhao Yide and attended a lunch he hosted.   Mrs Lam said she was pleased to visit Shaanxi for the first time as Chief Executive and congratulated Shaanxi on the successful hosting of the 14th National Games.   She expressed hope that Shaanxi would share its valuable experience, enabling the governments of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Guangdong Province and the Macau SAR to do a good job in hosting the 15th National Games in 2025.   Noting that Shaanxi is a key link for the nation's Belt & Road Initiative with its rich cultural history, the Chief Executive said the two places can build on the close trade and economic ties to enhance collaboration to contribute to the initiative and promote arts and cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world.   She added that the Hong Kong

Vaccines advisory panel meets

The Advisory Panel on COVID-19 Vaccines today held a meeting on the application for emergency use of COVID-19 vaccine by Sinovac Biotech (Hong Kong).   Sinovac submitted to the Secretary for Food & Health an application for the authorisation of its COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, together with the vaccine's Phase 1 and 2 clinical data that it had submitted to the World Health Organization and National Medical Products Administration (NMPA).   It also provided the Phase 3 clinical information of its trials conducted in Brazil that it had submitted to the NMPA, as well as those conducted in Turkey and Indonesia.   The advisory panel noted the Department of Health has followed relevant guidelines to request Sinovac to have relevant research data published in medical journals.   As Sinovac indicated that it has considerable difficulties in compiling the relevant information for publication in medical journals within a short period of time, having regard to the urgency for vaccination, the advisory panel has assessed and examined the aforesaid information on safety, efficacy and quality submitted by Sinovac.   The advisory panel considered the relevant clinical research data provided by Sinovac to be positive, but it requested Sinovac to provide additional data and information to establish that the benefits of using its COVID-19 vaccine for protection against the virus outweigh the risks.   It will convene a meeting after receiving the relevant information.   After the advisory panel provided a recommendation on the application for authorisation of the vaccine, the Secretary for Food & Health will come to a decision on the authorisation of the vaccine for emergency use as soon as possible.   The Government reiterated it will ensure that vaccines satisfy the criteria of safety, efficacy and quality, and obtain emergency use approval in accordance with the relevant requirements as well as stringent approval procedures under the Prevention & Control of Disease (Use of Vaccines) Regulation, before arranging for the public to receive the vaccines.   Its work in vaccine administration will continue to be based on scientific evidence and adhere to the principles of openness and transparency to enhance the public's confidence in vaccines.
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