Seoul, South Korea (AP) — The Korean Agency for Disease Control and Prevention has allowed health workers to squeeze an extra dose of the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Pfizer from vials.
Saturday’s decision came after some health workers who managed the AstraZeneca shooting reported to the authorities that they still saw some doses left in the bottles for each 10 injections.
KDCA official Zheng Jingxi said that if skilled workers use low-dead-volume syringes to reduce the waste of medicines and vaccines, they may be able to squeeze one or two extra doses from each medicine bottle.
However, she said, KDCA does not allow health workers to combine vaccines left in different bottles to make more doses.
KDCA has previously authorized 1
South Korea launched a public vaccination campaign last Friday. It is currently administering AstraZeneca vaccines to residents and workers in long-term care facilities, and managing Pfizer’s vaccination to frontline medical staff.
South Korea reported another 405 coronavirus cases on Saturday.
Among other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:
—Due to a two-day delay in the export process, more than 500,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arrived in Hong Kong on Saturday, providing Hong Kong with a second vaccination option. Pfizer’s BioNTech injections will be provided to approximately 2.4 million eligible residents, who come from priority groups, such as those aged 60 and over, and medical staff. Approximately 70,000 residents who have registered for the vaccination program starting Friday will receive a vaccine shot by the Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac. The Sinovac vaccine was the first vaccine to arrive last week. The registration details of those who wish to obtain the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine have not yet been announced. Hong Kong has reached a total of 22.5 million doses, of which Novartis China, AstraZeneca and Fosun Pharma have provided 7.5 million doses each, and the latter is providing Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. So far, the government has approved Sinovac and Pfizer BioNTech vaccines.
—After discovering new unexplained coronavirus cases, Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, will resume a 7-day lockdown. After an emergency meeting with senior cabinet members, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the news on Saturday night. She said the blockade will take effect from Sunday morning. After the discovery of a new case of the more infectious variant first discovered in the UK, Auckland was confined for three days earlier this month. New Zealand adopted a zero-tolerance eradication strategy for this virus and successfully eliminated community transmission before the latest case was discovered this month. Arden said that the latest patient has been showing symptoms since earlier this week and may have infected other people. Other parts of New Zealand will also increase restrictions.
-The Ministry of Health of Sri Lanka has decided to vaccinate everyone 30 years and older in high-risk areas in the capital Colombo and suburbs where COVID-19 cases are rising. In the past 24 hours, there were 466 new cases. Sri Lankans started vaccination work from health workers in January. So far, more than 406,000 people have received their shots.