Update on monitoring COVID-19 vaccination
As at 8pm on April 24, around 15.82 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered for members of the public. Around 6.61 million people had received at least one dose of vaccine, including 93.0 per cent of the population aged 12 or above. The DH received 7 399 reports (Note) of adverse events (0.05 per cent of the total vaccine doses administered). Among the death cases concerning persons who had been vaccinated, including 97 cases with vaccination within 14 days before they passed away (0.0006 per cent of the total vaccine doses administered), none of the death cases was associated with vaccination.
As at April 24, the Expert Committee on Clinical Events Assessment Following COVID-19 Immunisation had concluded that 61 death cases had no causal relationship with vaccination, and preliminarily considered that 11 cases were not associated with vaccination. Twenty-five cases are still pending further information for assessment. The Expert Committee considered that there is no unusual pattern identified so far, and will continue to closely monitor the relevant situation and collect data for assessment.
According to information from the HA, during the period from March 28 to April 24, the ratio of death cases out of those without a vaccination record was 351.0 cases for every 100 000 people, whereas the ratio of death cases for those with a vaccination record was 36.2 cases for every 100 000 people. Out of those without a vaccination record, the ratio of death cases with acute stroke or acute myocardial infarction was 11.7 cases for every 100 000 people, whereas the ratio of death cases under the same category for those with a vaccination record was 1.7 cases for every 100 000 people. Furthermore, the ratio of miscarriage cases out of those without a vaccination record was 59.9 cases for every 100 000 people, whereas the ratio of miscarriage cases for those who had a vaccination record was 11.0 cases for every 100 000 people. Based on the statistical analysis of the above figures, there is no evidence that vaccination increases the risk of death or miscarriage for recipients. The relevant reference statistics will be uploaded to the thematic website for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme.
The majority of non-death cases of adverse events received so far are relatively minor cases. The relevant details can be found in the "Report on the Safety Monitoring of COVID-19 Vaccines in Hong Kong" (www.drugoffice.gov.hk/eps/do/en/doc/Safety_Monitoring_of_COVID-19_Vaccines_in_Hong_Kong.pdf).
"Given the high transmissibility of the Omicron mutant strain, members of the public must still stay vigilant even if the epidemic situation has subsided a little recently. Deaths and severe cases involving children and elderly persons, who are our focus of protection in vaccination, have been recorded in the fifth wave of the epidemic. For elderly persons, the COVID-19 vaccination rate for the elderly aged 80 or above in Hong Kong is only around 62 per cent at present, meaning that around 38 per cent of the elderly in that age group are in a dangerous situation, which is alarming. Among the over 9 000 death cases from COVID-19 infection cumulatively recorded in the fifth wave, nearly 90 per cent are elderly persons aged 70 or above, out of which nearly 90 per cent did not receive or only received one dose of vaccine. The Comirnaty and CoronaVac vaccines are highly effective in preventing severe cases and deaths from COVID-19. They can provide effective protection to those vaccinated in preventing serious complications and even death after infection. We call on members of the public who are not yet vaccinated, especially senior citizens, chronic patients and other immunocompromised persons who face a much higher chance of death after COVID-19 infection, to get vaccinated as early as possible for better self-protection. The latest research data from the University of Hong Kong also shows that receiving three doses of either the Comirnaty or CoronaVac vaccine is highly effective for preventing severe cases and deaths with over 90 per cent effectiveness. Members of the public who are currently eligible for a third dose should get the third dose as soon as possible. Furthermore, in response to the latest advice from experts, we have started the administration of the fourth vaccine dose for persons aged 60 or above who have received three doses of the CoronaVac vaccine or the Comirnaty vaccine. They may receive the fourth dose at least three months after their last dose. Members of the public who are eligible for a fourth dose should get it as soon as possible to further enhance protection. On the other hand, the minimum age for receiving the CoronaVac vaccine has been lowered to 3 years old, while the minimum age for receiving the Comirnaty vaccine is 5 years old. We call on parents to arrange vaccination for their children as early as possible for better protection," a Government spokesman said.
Note: Provisional figures. In the preceding week till 11.59pm on April 24, the DH did not receive any reports of suspected myocarditis or pericarditis involving adolescents in the age group of 3 to 15.
Ends/Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Issued at HKT 20:18
Issued at HKT 20:18