Hong Kong Allows Sinovac Vaccine to be Given to Children 3-17 Years Old

Hong Kong Allows Sinovac Vaccine to be Given to Children 3-17 Years Old

The Hong Kong government has approved the expansion of the age limit for receiving the COVID-19 vaccination made by Sinovac, China, to children aged 3 to 17 years.

Previously, only residents aged 18 years and over were allowed to get the CoronaVac vaccine.

1. This step was taken to expand vaccination coverage in Hong Kong

The move comes as the Chinese administrative region expands vaccination coverage to its 7.5 million population.

Minister of Food and Health (SFH) Sophia Chan said that although the recipients of the CoronaVac vaccine were allowed from the age of 3 years, the priority for receiving the vaccine was children aged 12 to 17 years.

"Children aged 12 to 17 will be prioritized to receive the CoronaVac vaccine, with the intention of expanding (coverage) to younger age groups at a later stage," Sophia said in a statement. 21).

He also said the benefits of extending the age limit permit to cover children 3-17 years outweigh the risks.

2. Hong Kong was lagging behind in expanding vaccinations

Previously, the Hong Kong government's advisory panel for the COVID-19 vaccine had recommended SFH to approve the extension of the age of recipients of the vaccine.

However, expanding the age range of vaccine recipients was decided only when vaccination efforts since February in the Asian financial hub lag behind other developed economies.

Only about 67 percent of Hong Kong residents are fully vaccinated with two doses of Sinovac or BioNTech vaccine.

In a separate statement on Friday (11/19/21), the city government said it had purchased an additional one million doses of BioNTech vaccine for the third or booster dose of vaccination.

3. Hong Kong continues to enforce strict travel restrictions

Hong Kong continues to strictly enforce travel restrictions to contain the new COVID-19 outbreak. This is different from the policies of other countries that have opened up and live side by side with the corona virus.

Thus, international business lobbyists say that Hong Kong could lose out to other financial hubs such as Singapore, losing talent, investment and competitiveness, unless they relax restrictions.

Although cases of COVID-19 are almost non-existent, Hong Kong still requires foreign travelers to undergo quarantine in hotels for 21 days at their own expense.