Scientific Committees under CHP update consensus interim recommendations on use of COVID-19 vaccines

     The Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases and the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases (JSC) under the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health, joined by the Chief Executive's expert advisory panel (EAP), convened a meeting today (October 13) to discuss and issue the consensus interim recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in Hong Kong.

     The JSC-EAP reviewed the latest epidemiology, scientific evidences of monovalent and bivalent COVID-19 vaccines and overseas vaccination practice, and considered that the Comirnaty bivalent vaccine specific to Omicron BA.4/5, when available, can be used as an alternative to the fourth dose of the current ancestral strain vaccines for eligible persons aged 12 years or above following the current vaccination schedule.

     Upon review, the JSC-EAP recommended immunocompromised children aged 6 months to 11 years to receive four doses of COVID-19 vaccine, on par with immunocompromised adolescents, for better protection.

     The meeting also reviewed the time interval between the first two doses of Comirnaty vaccine for children. Taking reference from older age group recommendations, the JSC-EAP considered the dosing interval could be shortened to a minimum of three weeks for those with personal needs (e.g. study abroad) under informed consent after consideration of individual risk and benefit.

     The JSC-EAP reiterated the current recommendation of having the first two doses of COVID-19 vaccines with the same product for both adults and children. For recipients who developed severe side effects after the initial dose, vaccination with another type of COVID-19 vaccine may be considered on a case-by-case basis with informed consent. For subsequent doses, one may choose to use a different vaccine on personal choice.

     Last but not least, the experts emphasised that timely vaccination with the recommended number of doses is more crucial than the type of vaccine received. Based on local studies and experience, three doses of ancestral strain vaccines currently available in Hong Kong are highly effective against severe disease and death. Eligible individuals should complete all recommended doses with available vaccines as early as possible to build up their immunity.

     â€‹Details of the interim recommendations are available at the CHP's website at

Ends/Thursday, October 13, 2022
Issued at HKT 22:15