The government has tightened quarantine arrangements for cabin crew, which has greatly affected air cargo.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has warned that the impact will gradually emerge, and the first to bear the brunt is the supply of fresh goods, electronic products and medicines.
Some people in the pharmaceutical industry pointed out to "Hong Kong 01" that air transport tensions appeared at the end of last year. One of the vaccines that was supposed to arrive in Hong Kong at the end of last year has not yet received the goods. It is estimated that it will be delayed until before the Lunar New Year. Due to the tight freighter flights, "Yijia has to transfer even the goods, and Zhong has to transfer several times at any time to get to Hong Kong first."
Many drugs and vaccines are produced in the United States and Europe. In particular, vaccines with a short shelf life and various vaccines that require special storage and handling are more dependent on air transportation. The government has tightened quarantine for crew members earlier, resulting in a reduction in the number of cargo planes. Affect drug delivery.
Vaccines arrive in Hong Kong indefinitely due to tight cargo plane seats
According to a source in the pharmaceutical industry, the government has repeatedly tightened the quarantine of the crew, and since November and December last year, the already insufficient cargo seats have become even more tense. The vaccine that will arrive in Hong Kong at the end of the year has also been delayed repeatedly due to cargo planes, and it is still indefinitely due to arrive in Hong Kong. "I hope to receive it before the Lunar New Year."
Although the shortage of air transportation has caused delays in the delivery of medicines, it should not be short-lived for the time being. The industry says that there are generally two to three months of medicines in stock. However, due to the short shelf life of vaccines, the packaging and delivery time after leaving the factory are ideal. It has a validity period of about one year. If there are repeated delays in air transportation, the validity period will be shortened to only a few months. If the air transportation is tight, it will also reduce the inventory period and quantity of the pharmaceutical factory. In the past, it was directly transported from Europe and the United States to Hong Kong, but it took several flights to arrive first.”
Commonly used vaccines in Hong Kong that are directly transported by air from Europe and the United States, including influenza shot, chickenpox shot, four-in-one vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis and inactivated polio vaccine), hepatitis B vaccine, HPV vaccine (cervical cancer vaccine), etc. .
In addition, some immunotherapy drugs for cancer, or reagents required for various tests, also need to be transported to Hong Kong by air.
Legislative Council member of the medical and health sector and surgeon Lin Chexuan pointed out that there has been a shortage of gastric medicines ordered from pharmaceutical companies recently. It has an impact, and many materials for surgical operations are imported from abroad. He said that he has heard that some doctors and colleagues have increased the inventory of various medical supplies and drugs due to the recent logistics disruption. "But you can't stock too much, especially if there are vaccines There is a limited period of use, and if you buy too much stock, you won’t be able to use it at any time.” He said that drugs that have passed the patent period generally have less impact, because there are many brands to choose from, but new drugs that are patented are more complicated and cannot be replaced. Taste.
▼On January 11, there was a long queue at the Tuen Mun inspection station at night▼
Lin Zhexuan said that the Hospital Authority needs to use a large amount of drugs, and reminded to pay attention to the air transportation situation, to know whether the inventory of drugs or other medical supplies is sufficient, and to formulate relevant procurement plans when necessary.
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