Mainland Chinese head to Hong Kong for mRNA COVID vaccines –

HONG KONG, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Scores of mainland Chinese travellers are rushing to Hong Kong to receive mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, which are not available on the Chinese mainland, as the country grapples with a torrent of infections which have overwhelmed its health system.
A private hospital in the special Chinese administrative region of Hong Kong welcomed the first batch of mainland customers on Thursday, just five days after China reopened its borders for the first time in three years, allowing quarantine free travel.
Yoyo Liang, a 36-year old Beijing resident, was one of the first customers at the Virtus Medical Centre where she paid HK$ 1,888 ($241) for her first BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
Liang had received three domestically developed vaccine doses from China's Sinovac over the past two years but said she took Pfizer-BioNtech's bivalent booster vaccine to better protect herself against the virus.
[1/5] Yoyo Liang, from mainland China, received a dose of BioNTech bivalent coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at a private clinic in Hong Kong, China January 12, 2023. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
"I was very tempted to get the vaccine because of the border reopening. There is no bivalent vaccine available in mainland Chin," she explained after she received her jab.
Virtus, which has received more than 300 inquiries so far about the vaccines, is expecting more mainland customers to come to Hong Kong in the coming weeks and months, the company's chief medical officer Samuel Kwok told reporters.
However, due to a large number of people already infected, many would wait before taking a booster shot, he said.
"Demand is increasing but we understand that there are a lot of people who got infected recently… they cannot get… a booster dose immediately so they have to wait for at least three months."
China, home to 1.4 billion people, abruptly abandoned its zero-COVID policy last month and infections are surging across a population with little immunity after being shielded since the virus emerged three years ago in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
The U.S. dollar struggled for direction on Friday as fears of an economic slowdown dented risk sentiment, while the yen slipped as speculation continue to swirl that the Bank of Japan will eventually move away from its ultra-easy policy.
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Reuters provides business, financial, national and international news to professionals via desktop terminals, the world's media organizations, industry events and directly to consumers.
Build the strongest argument relying on authoritative content, attorney-editor expertise, and industry defining technology.
The most comprehensive solution to manage all your complex and ever-expanding tax and compliance needs.
The industry leader for online information for tax, accounting and finance professionals.
Access unmatched financial data, news and content in a highly-customised workflow experience on desktop, web and mobile.
Browse an unrivalled portfolio of real-time and historical market data and insights from worldwide sources and experts.
Screen for heightened risk individual and entities globally to help uncover hidden risks in business relationships and human networks.
All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.
© 2022 Reuters. All rights reserved