Secretary for the Civil Service Ingrid Yeung (first right) watches as a 10-month-old baby receives his COVID-19 vaccine at a Community Vaccination Centre in Kwun Tong on Aug 4, 2022. (PHOTO / INFORMATION SERVICES DEPARTMENT, HKSAR)
HONG KONG – Parents can make bookings for their children aged between six months and four years from Sunday to receive the toddler formulation of the BioNTech vaccine in Hong Kong.
Starting Nov 9, four children community vaccination centers (CCVCs) across the city will provide vaccination services with the toddler formulation of the BioNTech vaccine.
The announcment came on Saturday, when the city's health authorities recorded 5,111 new COVID-19 cases, including 494 imported cases, and 17 related deaths in public hospitals.
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Children have weaker resistance to diseases and they can fall into severe condition should they get infected with the COVID-19 virus.
Ingrid Yeung, Secretary for the Civil Service, HKSAR
As the toddler and pediatric formulations of the BioNTech vaccine for children require a special dilution procedure, children aged below 12 must receive the BioNTech jab at the four CCVCs at present, according to a government press release.
The centers are: Hong Kong Children's Hospital CCVC in Kowloon Bay, HKU CCVC at Gleneagles Hospital Hong Kong, CUHK Medical Centre in Sha Tin, and Osman Ramju Sadick Memorial Sports Centre in Kwai Chung.
There is no same-day ticket arrangement at the CCVCs and parents have to make prior bookings online.
Since Aug 4, the government lowered the minimum age for receiving the Sinovac vaccine to six months old.
Following the arrival of the toddler formulation of the BioNTech vaccine, the minimum age for receiving the BioNTech vaccine has been lowered to 6 months old to provide one more option to parents, said Secretary for the Civil Service Ingrid Yeung.
“Children have weaker resistance to diseases and they can fall into severe condition should they get infected with the COVID-19 virus. They may also develop medium and long-term after-effects after recovery,” she said.
She appealed to parents to act fast and place COVID-19 vaccination bookings for their children for the sake of their health, adding: “Vaccination can reduce the risks of serious illness and death.”
New COVID cases
Of the locally transmitted cases recorded on Saturday, 1,213 tested positive by nucleic acid tests and 3,404 through rapid antigen tests (RATs), according to the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health.
Of the imported cases, samples of 255 tested positive at the airport. Total 144 of them involved samples taken during Day 1 to Day 3, and the remaining 95 samples during Day 4 to Day 7.
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According to the Hospital Authority, 1,895 patients who tested positive for COVID-19 are currently hospitalized for treatment, including 213 new patients.
There are five newly reported critical patients and nine newly reported serious patients, it added.