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Thursday, June 10, 2021, 11:34
Govt experts back BioNTech for adolescents aged 12 to 15
By Wang Zhan
Thursday, June 10, 2021, 11:34 By Wang Zhan

Vials of the BioNTech vaccine are pictured on April 22, 2021 at the San Giovanni Addolorata hospital in Rome. (TIZIANA FABI / AFP)

HONG KONG - The Hong Kong government scientists and panel experts have recommended the use of BioNTech's Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents aged 12 to 15, days after the government lowered the age limit for vaccination in the city.

“Considering the benefits of Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine in reducing deaths and hospitalisations due to COVID-19 infections outweigh the risks, the JSC-EAP recommended the use of Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents aged 12 - 15,” reads a press release issued after a meeting Wednesday of the Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases and the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases under the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health (JSC), joined by the Chief Executive's expert advisory panel (EAP).

ALSO READ: HK authorizes BioNTech vaccine for over 12-year-olds

Travelers eligible for 7-day quarantine should be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arriving in HK, test negative upon arrival and test positive for antibody, recommended experts

At the same meeting, experts also suggested shortening the quarantine period for fully vaccinated inbound travelers to seven days, followed by another week of self-monitoring with multiple polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing.

The eligible travelers should be those being fully vaccinated at least 14 days before arriving in Hong Kong, those who test negative for coronavirus upon arrival and test positive for antibody.

Under the arrangement, travelers must have been inoculated with vaccines that are used in Hong Kong, or those on the World Health Organization Emergency Use Listing or Pre-qualification lists, or recognized by Stringent Regulatory Authorities as designated by WHO or the National Medical Products Administration as well as those recommended by Hong Kong’s expert committee (Sputnik V).

READ MORE: HK eyes further easing virus curbs under 'vaccine bubble'

The experts also highly recommended COVID-19 vaccines for the elderly, saying elderlies who have received influenza vaccines before can safely receive COVID-19 vaccines with a risk-benefit analysis sugested for the frailest elderlies. 

“Members of the public are advised to complete both doses of the series with the same product when possible,” the experts have been quoted as saying in the press release.

As of Wednesday, 1,608,364 Hong Kong residents had received their first vaccine dose, accounting for 24.5 percent of the eligible population, while more than 1.14 million people had been fully vaccinated.

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