Macau suspended the use of the BioNTech mRNA vaccine on Wednesday after being informed by distributor Fosun Pharma of defective packaging.
The Macau government was informed by Fosun Pharma that one batch of vaccines was found to have defective packaging, although the distributor emphasized the temporary suspension was a precautionary measure and the vaccine was not being recalled while further investigations take place. A similar measure has been taken in Hong Kong.
Macau imported 100,000 doses of the BioNTech vaccine last month, but batch 210102 was found to have loosened aluminium caps on the bottles. The Health Bureau confirmed that none of the doses in question have been used in Macau.
As of 23 March, a total of 6,215 doses of BioNTech vaccines have been used in Macau from earlier batches, while 5,393 individuals have registered to receive their first dose and 3,873 their second dose. Those who have yet to receive their first dose have the option of receiving the Chinese-produced Sinopharm vaccine instead.
Macau authorities said they may ask Hong Kong to transfer some doses from another batch of BioNTech vaccines in order to resume Macau’s vaccination program as soon as possible.