Hong Kong – Scientific Committees under CHP updated consensus interim recommendations on use of COVID-19 vaccines in Hong Kong

Scientific Committees under CHP updated consensus interim recommendations on use of COVID-19 vaccines in Hong Kong

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     The Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases and the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases (JSC) under the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health convened a meeting tonight (February 25), joined by the Chief Executive’s expert advisory panel (EAP) to discuss and update the consensus interim recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in Hong Kong.



     COVID-19 vaccines can protect individuals from severe illnesses and complications from COVID-19. Locally, fully vaccinated cases have much lower fatality rate than those not fully vaccinated. With that, JSC-EAP strongly recommended eligible persons who have not yet received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccines to get vaccinated, with priority accorded to those aged under 12 as well as those aged 60 and above.



     The JSC-EAP also strongly recommended a third dose of Comirnaty vaccine for adults three months after they had received two doses of CoronaVac or Comirnaty vaccines. Meanwhile, priority should be accorded to persons aged 60 and above in view of their higher vulnerability to severe COVID-19 disease and higher fatality rate in the local context.



     The use of COVID-19 vaccines in children was also reviewed during the meeting. For children and adolescents aged 5 to 17, the JSC-EAP recommended to shorten the time interval between the first two doses of Comirnaty vaccine from 12 weeks to eight weeks which should be given intramuscularly at the anterolateral aspect of mid-thigh.



     The JSC-EAP recommended adolescents aged 12 to 17 who have received two doses of CoronaVac to receive a third dose of either CoronaVac or Comirnaty as soon as three months after the second dose. Adolescents who had received two doses of Comirnaty are recommended to receive a third dose of the same vaccine five months from the second dose, while CoronaVac should be made available as an alternative based on personal preference.



     At the meeting, the experts also reviewed the use of COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised individuals. An additional dose (i.e. the fourth dose) of COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised patients aged 12 or above who have received three doses is strongly recommended for better protection. For immunocompromised persons below age 12, they are recommended to receive a total of three doses at this juncture.



     Details of the interim recommendations are available at the CHP’s website www.chp.gov.hk/en/static/24008.html.

Hong Kong – Scientific Committees under CHP issue consensus interim recommendations on COVID-19 vaccination

Scientific Committees under CHP issue consensus interim recommendations on COVID-19 vaccination

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     The Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases and the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases under the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (JSC) convened a meeting today (July 22), joined by the Chief Executive’s expert advisory panel (EAP), to discuss the recommendations on COVID-19 vaccination, including co-administration of COVID-19 vaccines with other vaccines; and the need for a third dose of COVID-19 vaccines for persons who have been fully vaccinated.

     During the meeting, the JSC-EAP noted that the data on co-administration of COVID-19 vaccines with other vaccines are currently limited. It is suggested to have a minimal interval of at least 14 days between the administration of COVID-19 vaccine (Comirnaty or CoronaVac) and any other vaccines. Elderly should receive COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible, well before the arrival of the winter influenza season. There are circumstances when shortening the interval between the administration of these vaccines are justified, such as when there are increased risk of COVID-19 and other vaccine-preventable diseases or when another vaccine is required for post-exposure prophylaxis, including tetanus and rabies. ​

     In addition, the JSC-EAP agreed that getting vaccinated, in particular for older adults and those with pre-existing conditions as they have a higher risk of severe disease and death, is a priority. Both Comirnaty and CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in protecting against severe diseases and death from COVID-19 infection, which is generally related to T-cell response. The antibody response is related to prevention of infection and symptomatic disease. It is also more susceptible to Variants of Concern. Therefore, it may differ among different vaccines.

     The JSC-EAP considered that it is currently too early to confirm if and when a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine will be needed for the general population, and recommended to continue monitoring any new scientific evidence that becomes available.

     ​Details of the interim recommendations are available at the CHP’s website www.chp.gov.hk/en/static/24008.html.