Caixin
Aug 03, 2022 04:00 AM
CHINA

Hong Kong Clears Sinovac Covid Shot for 6-Month-Olds

What’s new: Hong Kong approved Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine Tuesday for infants as young as 6 months old after new cases of infant infections and deaths.

Health officials authorized three doses of the Sinovac shot for children ages 6 months to 3 years and older. The vaccine uses the same dose for children and adults, with the first two doses to be given eight weeks apart and the third at least three months after the second.

A 22-month-old girl died Monday because of a brain inflammation triggered by infection with the coronavirus. A 35-month-old boy was confirmed to be infected Monday and is being treated in a hospital intensive care unit in stable condition.

The recent severe and fatal cases among children are very concerning, and the government will try to provide a variety of vaccination approaches, a government spokesperson said.

The background: Hong Kong is the first city in Asia to give the green light for vaccinating children as young as 6 months. The U.S. and Israel lowered their age limits to 6 months in June and July. On the Chinese mainland, Sinovac’s shot is approved only for children 3 years old and older.

A scientific committee under the Hong Kong Department of Health recommended that the vaccination age for BioNTech’s shots be lowered to 6 months. But the government has yet to approve the vaccination as the government is negotiating procurement of special doses for infants, which dilute the adult version to one-10th of the original dose. BioNTech’s vaccine is currently available only to those at least 5 years old.

On Monday, Hong Kong reported 4,254 new infections and six more deaths. The overall tally rose to 1,358,248 cases, with 9,508 related fatalities.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full story in Chinese, click here.

Contact reporter Denise Jia (huijuanjia@caixin.com) and editor Bob Simison (bob.simison@caixin.com)

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