HONG KONG — An advisory panel on COVID-19 vaccines for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Monday recommended extending the eligibility of the Chinese-made Sinovac jabs to cover children aged three to 17.
Relevant information, including clinical trial data, indicated that the Sinovac vaccine had good safety when administered to children aged three to 17 of different ethnicities. Also, compared with adults aged 18 or above, children aged three to 17 developed better immunogenicity response, according to a press release by the HKSAR government.
The panel will submit the recommendation to the Secretary for Food and Health (SFH) of the HKSAR government for consideration.
“The government welcomes the recommendation by the advisory panel on lowering the age indication of the Sinovac vaccine. After examination by the Joint Scientific Committees, the SFH will consider the relevant recommendation and come to a decision as soon as possible,” said a spokesperson for the HKSAR government.
The HKSAR government will also follow up with Fosun Pharma on the matters related to lowering the age limit of the Comirnaty vaccine to cover children aged five to 11, the spokesperson said.
Hong Kong’s vaccination drive is making steady progress. Since the launch of the government inoculation program in late February, about 4.68 million people, or 69.5 percent of the eligible population, have taken at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccines, while around 4.48 million people, or 66.5 percent, are fully vaccinated.
A booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine has been made available to eligible groups in Hong Kong. People with weak immunity and high risks of infection with the virus can receive their third dose.
A total of 49,931 people have taken the booster shot in Hong Kong.