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Testing unaffected by virus mutation

Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan today said the reagent used by the Public Health Laboratory Services Branch for COVID-19 testing is not affected by the genetic transformation of the virus’ S protein.   She told legislators the laboratory services branch under the Centre for Health Protection is currently using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) nucleic acid test to conduct and process COVID-19 testing.   On vaccine procurement, Prof Chan said the vaccines advance purchased by the Government are the inactivated virus vaccine by Sinovac Biotech (Hong Kong), the nucleic acid vaccine by Fosun Pharma/German drug developer BioNTech, and the viral vector vaccine by AstraZeneca/University of Oxford.   The health chief noted the Government’s goal is to procure at least one vaccine from each vaccine technology platform. This means it will purchase four different vaccines, with the aggregate number of doses sufficient to serve at least two times the city’s population.   This is to diversify risks and ensure sufficient supplies of safe and efficacious vaccines for the whole of Hong Kong, Prof Chan added.
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