A nurse prepares a syringe of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center, in Garlan, western France, on May 31, 2021. (FRED TANNEAU / AFP)
HONG KONG – Eligible persons aged 12 or above may choose to receive the Comirnaty bivalent vaccine in Hong Kong from Dec 1, and online reservations will open from 9 am on Sunday, the special administrative region government announced on Saturday.
The first batch of about 770,000 doses of the Comirnaty Original/Omicron BA.4-5 bivalent vaccine by Fosun Pharma/BioNTech were delivered to Hong Kong on Friday as arranged by Fosun Pharma.
In view of the arrival of the vaccine, the online booking system has been updated to provide options for eligible persons when making appointment.
READ MORE: HK health chief authorizes use of Comirnaty bivalent jab
Eligible persons aged 60 or above with same-day tickets may choose the type of vaccine to be administered on site.
The Comirnaty bivalent vaccine can be used as an alternative to the fourth dose (or the third dose for recovered persons) for eligible persons aged 12 or above following the current vaccination schedule, while the Sinovac or the BioNTech ancestral strain vaccines can still be used.
The key to maintain the protection conferred by the vaccine is to receive suitable doses following the vaccination schedule, and the COVID-19 vaccines available in Hong Kong are safe and effective.
Ingrid Yeung, Secretary for the Civil Service, HKSAR
Vaccination venues providing the BioNTech bivalent vaccine include the Community Vaccination Centres, the Community Vaccination Stations, the Hospital COVID-19 Vaccination Stations, designated general out-patient clinics of the Hospital Authority and the Private Clinic COVID-19 Vaccination Stations.
These vaccination venues will only provide vaccination service with the BioNTech bivalent vaccine to eligible persons in accordance with health authorities' guidelines, while persons who have not been vaccinated or received the suitable doses of vaccine are not allowed to choose to receive the bivalent vaccine, said Secretary for the Civil Service Ingrid Yeung.
"The key to maintain the protection conferred by the vaccine is to receive suitable doses following the vaccination schedule, and the COVID-19 vaccines available in Hong Kong are safe and effective,” she said.
As the protection offered by the vaccines will diminish over time, the government urged residents, particularly high-risk persons such as the elderly, who have not received suitable doses of vaccine to get the suitable doses as soon as possible for self-protection.
After arrival of the first batch of the bivalent vaccine on Friday, officials carried out stringent checks and inspections in accordance with established procedures to ensure the vaccine complies with the product specifications and that the transportation process followed the relevant cold-chain requirements, according to the government.
The government will put the vaccine in validated ultra-low temperature freezers to ensure its proper storage in accordance with the temperature specified by the drug manufacturer.
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As per the plans, health officials will start providing the bivalent vaccination service to members of the public from early December.
Details will be announced later, the government added.
The government has procured a total of 1.9 million doses of the Comirnaty bivalent vaccine from the manufacturer and the remaining doses are expected to be transported to Hong Kong by the end of this year.
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