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CHP experts give first priority for Covid-19 vaccines to those in care homes

21 January 2021

By The SUN 

Residents and staff in care homes such as this one will get the first jabs

Experts under the Centre for Health Protection have put residents and staff of care homes for the elderly and people with disabilities at the top of the list for getting the Covid-19 vaccine in Hong Kong.

Next in line are medical workers or those in essential services that are at high risk of exposure to the coronavirus, and residents aged 60 years and above.

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On third priority are persons with chronic medical problems aged between 16 and 59 years.

No mention was made of other residents not in the designated categories in a statement published today, Jan 21, in the government’s website.

Experts from two CHP committees, along with a panel advising the government on its coronavirus response, say there will not be enough vaccines to protect all of the city’s 7.5 million residents in the first stage of the inoculation program. Thus, they said the best approach is to protect the most vulnerable initially.

The government has procured 22.5 million doses of three different vaccines, and had intended to start the inoculation by this month.

However, the vaccine from Sinovac, which was initially expected to arrive later this month, has yet to be cleared for use as it has reportedly failed to submit enough data to the government.

The BioNTech and AstaZeneca vaccines will be given first

The government statement said the expert recommendations focused only on two vaccines: BioNTech provided by Fosun Pharma, and Astra Zeneca.


Both vaccines should be taken in two doses each, and the same type of vaccine should be given to each individual.

The free and voluntary inoculation is reported to be on track to start after the Lunar New Year.

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The experts said vaccination is just one of the tools for ensuring people’s safety during the pandemic. Thus, everyone must continue good personal hygiene, maintain social distancing, and wear masks at all times in public places.

The Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases and the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases under CHP published their interim recommendations after their joint meeting on Jan 7 on protocols for the use of Covid-19 vaccines.

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Details on the scientific evidence used and the reasons for the recommendations may be found on the CHP website (


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