27th May 2023 – (Hong Kong) The government announced on Thursday (25th May) that the flu season in Hong Kong has ended for this year. Professor Ivan Hung, a member of the Expert Advisory Panel, said on a radio program today (27th May) that the overall flu cases this year were not severe, and he believes that this is due to increased public awareness of hygiene and more elderly people in nursing homes receiving the flu vaccine.
Regarding the COVID-19 situation, Professor Hung estimates that it will take some time for the case numbers to drop. He also predicts that Hong Kong may experience a peak in COVID-19 infections every six months due to the decline in mixed immunity barriers over time. However, he believes that as more people develop mixed immunity barriers and some individuals experience re-infections, cases will come and go more quickly.
Furthermore, Professor Hung commented on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recent recommendation that new COVID-19 vaccines should target the XBB variant. He said that many pharmaceutical companies are currently developing XBB-specific vaccines, which are expected to be available in Hong Kong in the second half of this year. He recommended that the government include the new COVID-19 vaccine in the vaccination program and provide free vaccinations to high-risk groups.