More than a week after the abrupt suspension of BioNTech vaccinations against Covid-19 because of “packaging defects”, the Hong Kong government has finally addressed two very important issues following investigations. First, the vaccine is still safe to use. Second, inoculations will resume on Monday with the arrival on Friday of a new batch of 300,000 doses produced at another factory, and those with affected bookings will be given new time slots. The arrangements look reasonable and help keep disruption to a minimum. Investigations by the German manufacturer found packaging defects concerning vial lids were due to the crimping process and ultra-low storage temperature. There were no issues of safety, quality and efficacy, according to officials. However, the question remains as to why the defects, identified by frontline staff administering the jabs in Hong Kong, were apparently not found elsewhere. The two batches in question have been put aside pending the outcome of a full investigation. The chaos arising from the halt on March 24 is something the government could have done without. With no fewer than 183,000 people affected, the resumption could easily turn into another logistical nightmare if not handled carefully. It was announced that bookings from April 5 will go ahead as normal, while those who lost their slots will be given new schedules that may be further adjusted online from Saturday. Such arrangements appear reasonable, but officials must guard against any confusion that could arise. Defects in Hong Kong batch of BioNTech jab down to sealing process, probe finds The latest scare may make anti-vaxxers even more sceptical, but with reassurances and strengthened monitoring, people should be encouraged to come forward and have their jabs. The roll-out was already losing steam following reports of deaths and serious side effects despite officials being adamant that the fatalities were not directly related to the inoculations. The disruption means a lot more needs to be done to catch up and, with nearly 93 per cent of the target population still not fully vaccinated, there is a long way to go.