(Nov 20): Hong Kong approved lowering the age of eligibility for the Covid-19 vaccine from China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd to three years old, down from 18 years old.
The city’s Secretary for Food and Health said adolescents from 12-to-17 years will be accorded priority to receive the vaccine, “with a view to extending to children of a younger age group at a later stage,” according to a statement on Saturday. Experts serving on panels for the Centre for Health Protection had earlier backed the new age limit.
The expansion of the eligible population comes as Hong Kong’s immunization campaign hits a wall. Vaccine hesitancy is ripe especially among the elderly population, many of whom refuse to even get one dose. Since the effort began in February, about 60% of residents have been fully vaccinated, according to Bloomberg’s Vaccine Tracker. That compares with over 80% in Singapore, its rival financial hub in Asia.
Hong Kong authorities said they considered that the benefits of approving the extension of age eligibility outweighed the risks.
“Doing so can protect them from Covid-19 infection and also enable them to resume normal school and daily life as soon as possible,” according to the statement.
Source: Hong Kong approves Sinovac vaccine for children ages 3-17 | The Edge Markets