Older adults advised to get 4th jab

People aged 60 or above are advised to receive the fourth dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least three months after their last dose, the Government said today.   Considering the fact that the majority of local fatal cases in the fifth wave of the COVID-19 epidemic involved citizens aged 60 or above, the Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases and the Scientific Committee on Emerging & Zoonotic Diseases, joined by the Chief Executive’s expert advisory panel, gave such advice after a meeting yesterday.   The same principle applies to people aged 60 or above who have recovered from COVID-19.   The advisers also re-examined the 21-day interval between the first and second doses of the BioNTech vaccine for immunocompromised children and adolescents and had no objection for recovered people to receive their next vaccine dose at an interval of no less than 28 days after recovery, for personal reasons like studying abroad or overseas travel.   Recovered people without a history of COVID-19 vaccination can be vaccinated one month after recovery.   Meanwhile, for administrative convenience and achieving better coverage, the advisers had no objection to providing COVID-19 vaccines with seasonal influenza or other childhood immunisation ones on the same visit under informed consent. This principle would apply to similar settings including residential care homes.   Separately, for people who are partially vaccinated outside Hong Kong with locally unavailable COVID-19 vaccines on the List of COVID-19 Vaccines Recognised for Specified Purposes and under the World Health Organization’s Emergency Use Listing, the experts urged them to complete their vaccination course with vaccines using the same platform or any suitable locally available alternative at least four weeks after the previous dose according to their needs.   Those who have fully or partially been vaccinated with vaccines not on the aforesaid lists are advised to start over with vaccines available in Hong Kong following the local recommended schedule, the experts added.
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