Scientific Committee experts say bivalent vaccine can be used as another choice for the third and the fourth dose

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1st December 2022 – (Hong Kong) 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, joined by the Chief Executive’s expert advisory panel (EAP), convened a meeting today to discuss and issue the consensus interim recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in Hong Kong.

 In view of the arrival of the Comirnaty bivalent vaccine to Hong Kong, recent increasing activities of COVID-19 in the community and residential care homes, as well as the anticipating winter surge, the JSC-EAP has specifically discussed the use of the bivalent vaccine to supplement previous recommendations made on 13th October.

Experts urged to arrange vaccination comprising a total of four doses for eligible residents of residential care homes for elderly persons (RCHEs) and residential care homes for persons with disabilities (RCHDs) as soon as feasible, so as to reduce the risk of death and severe disease. Taking into account overseas practice and Comirnaty bivalent vaccine matched with the circulating Omicron strain in Hong Kong, experts considered RCHE and RCHD residents who have completed four doses (or three doses with previous COVID-19 infection) may choose to receive an additional dose of bivalent vaccine for better personal protection, while residents may also choose ancestral strain vaccine under informed consent. In addition, bivalent vaccine can be used as another choice for the third and the fourth dose.

Noting some adults have received four doses of vaccines (or three doses with prior infection) with more than half a year passed, experts considered that they may choose to receive an additional dose of vaccine six months after their last dose or recovery for personal protection under informed consent. Similar approach also applies to immunocompromised persons aged 18 or above, with a shortened time interval of three months.

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