The Omicron variant significantly increases the likelihood of a local Covid outbreak in Hong Kong. In our recent Winter 2021 Covid Newsletter we advised OT&P patients to take their booster doses once they become eligible. The Hong Kong Government has recently updated eligibility as below.
Individuals aged 18 years and Older
Anyone who has received two vaccines more than six months ago is eligible to receive a booster dose. Individuals who need to travel overseas are entitled to receive a booster dose three months after their second shot.
Vaccination in Pregnancy and Breast Feeding
In view of the evidence of safety accumulated internationally anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding is advised to receive a booster in the same schedule as individuals 18 years and older. They should receive BioNTech vaccine.
Individuals with Prior Covid Infection
In Hong Kong it is still recommended that people who have suffered from Covid should not be vaccinated for three months after the initial infection (6 months for Sinovac) at which point they receive a single injection. They can now have a booster dose six months after the single primary injection. This second booster dose can be given three months after the initial injection for those who wish to travel overseas.
Children and Adolescents
In view of the risk of myocarditis, Hong Kong has been giving only one injection between the ages of 12 and 17. Children and adolescents will now be given a second dose at least 12 weeks after the first. This injection should be given in the outer thigh especially for adolescent boys.
Online booking under the new criteria starts at 8 am on January 1st, 2022. In our opinion, Omicron has tilted the risk-benefit in favour of early vaccination and we would advise OT&P patients to receive their booster doses as soon as they become eligible for them. In Hong Kong we advise our patients who do not have a contraindication to take the BioNTech vaccination. Eligibility information is available here and online booking is available here.