Residents wearing face masks are seen in Hong Kong on Dec 23, 2020. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
HONG KONG – Hong Kong residents aged 18 and above should get a third jab against COVID-19, whether they have received the BioNTech or Sinovac shots for their first two doses, the Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases recommended after a meeting on Thursday.
They should wait six months before taking the third shot but people who are traveling to high-risk areas could take the jab after three months.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor earlier indicated the booster shots will be made available to all Hong Kong residents starting January
Currently, people in high-risk groups and those who have received two doses of the Sinovac vaccine, with the second dose taken six months ago, can make reservations for their booster shots.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor earlier indicated the booster shots will be made available to all Hong Kong residents starting January.
The committee also recommended a second jab for adolescents aged 12 to 17, who were previously asked to take only one dose of the BioNTech vaccine.
An interval of 12 weeks between the two shots is advisable to reduce the risk of myocarditis, typically a short-term inflammation of tissues around the heart.
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Since the launch of the government inoculation program in late February, around 4.84 million people or 71.9 percent of the eligible population have taken at least one shot of the vaccine, while over 4.61 million or 68.6 percent of the eligible population are fully vaccinated.
A total of 322,781 people have taken the booster shot in Hong Kong as of 7:00 pm local time Wednesday.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government expects the third-dose vaccination to cover about 1.86 million people.
Menawhile, Hong Kong reported two new imported COVID-19 cases with variant strains on Thursday, bringing the city’s tally to 12, 550.
The Centre for Health Protection said in a statement that the new patients were a 27-year-old woman who returned from the United Kingdom and a 36-year-old male aircrew member who had traveled to Ethiopia, Ireland, Canada, Senegal and Belgium.
The patients, both of whom were fully vaccinated, had the N501Y variant but showed no symptoms, the CHP said.
The CHP added that a total of 77 cases were reported from Dec 9 to 22 and all of them were imported.
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With Xinhua inputs