Long-distance transportation might have led to packaging defects found in some of the currently-suspended BioNTech vaccine doses, the government said.
Preliminary findings of an investigation by the mainland distribution agent Fosun Pharma and manufacturer BioNTech
revealed that no significant systematic errors were detected from the process of packaging the vaccines to their actual use.
“The current findings did not rule out that environmental factors during the long-distance transportation might have caused [the flaws],” a government spokesperson said in a statement.
He added the manufacturers found no evidence showing the doses with problem vials in the batches numbered 210102 and 210104 pose safety risks, and urged recipients not to worry.
The government is working closely with Fosun and BioNTech
on a follow-up investigation to check whether the faulty batches have other inherent properities and are safe to use, with an aim to complete the inquiry within a week.
On Wednesday, health authorities suspended BioNTech
injections after frontline staff reported 57 instances of packaging issues, including cracked vials and stain on the bottle exterior, adding that it was purely precautionary.
Earlier this morning, Secretary for Civil Service Patrick Nip Tak-kuen said authorities will be giving priority to those who are waiting to take their second jabs of BioNTech
upon resumption of the scheme.