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Vaccines opened to all, but BioNTech jabs available only until Sept

15 April 2021

By Daisy CL Mandap 

Those aged 16 &17 will have to get their parents' consent to get the vaccine

All residents aged 16 to 29 will be able to get a Covid-19 vaccine from next Friday, Apr 23, Civil Secretary Patrick Nip, who is in charge of the government’s vaccination program, said during a press briefing today, Apr 15.

The move will open the government’s vaccination program to all qualified residents in Hong Kong, which according to Nip, number 6.5 million, or 89% of the city’s total population of about 7.5 million.

Previously, only those aged 30 and above and those working in specified high-risk jobs such as those in catering and aviation industries were allowed to take the jabs. The first priority was given to residents aged 60 and above, and medical frontliners.


Nip also reminded people that the BioNTech jab may be taken by anyone over the age of 16, but the one from Sinovac is recommended only from those who are at least 18 years old.

Sixteen and 17-year-olds will be asked for a completed parental consent form before being given a jab, with a template for the form available on the booking website.

He said the government decided to extend the vaccination to all age groups in line with public clamor.


“We have considered the operation of the vaccination program and the supply of vaccines, and have decided to expand the program to cover the age group of 19 to 29 years old,” he said.

Nip also reminded all those who want to get the more effective BioNTech vaccine that they only have until August to secure their first dose, and their second dose by the next month, when the community vaccination centers (CVCs) will be closed down.

Pindutin para sa detalye

“Otherwise, some of the vaccines may have expired,” said Nip, “and there may not be enough supply.” 

All the BioNTech vaccines have arrived, so must be used by Sept

Nip explained that the vaccine, which requires careful handling and storage, could only be used six months after the date of manufacture. After packaging, tests, shipment and delivery to Hong Kong, the period would have been cut to just four months.

But the Sinovac jab, which does not require the same kind of sensitive handling, will continue to be available at all general outpatient clinics of public hospitals, and the 1,600 private doctors who have enlisted for the inoculation program.

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By next month, Nip also said that three vaccination centers offering Sinovac jabs, in Tseung Kwan O, Tuen Mun and Tsuen Wan will switch to offering BioNTech vaccines.

Secretary for Health Dr Sophia Chan said Hong Kong people should be grateful that there is enough supply of vaccines for everyone in the city, unlike in many places where the challenge is to get enough jabs for their people.

Chan said the government has procured 15 million doses of vaccines, half of which came from Sinovac and the other half, from BioNTech. This is enough to last until the end of this year, she said.


The government has also started procuring doses for next year, keeping in mind the development of third generation vaccines that are said to give protection against the new mutant viruses that seem to be spreading globally.

Despite this, she said the take-up for the vaccine in Hong Kong has been slow, with just about 950,000 doses administered so far- 540,000 from Sinovac and 410,000 from BioNTech. That’s just about 9.7 % of all those qualified to take the vaccine, meaning those aged 16 and above.


Tunghayan ang isa na namang kwentong 

“We still have a long way to go,” said Chan, explaining the challenge faced by Hong Kong in attaining herd immunity from the coronavirus disease. 






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