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Hospital Authority appeals parents to arrange COVID-19 vaccination for children
The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     The Hospital Authority (HA) today (October 26) urges parents to step up the protection of their children and arrange for them to receive COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible to reduce their risks of death or falling seriously ill should they unfortunately get infected.
     The situation of a 31-month-old boy, who tested positive for COVID-19 on October 17 and diagnosed acute necrotising encephalitis, has deteriorated since then. He has undergone acute brain surgery yesterday (October 25) and is still staying in the paediatric intensive care unit of Queen Elizabeth Hospital. He is now in critical condition. Healthcare staff members are trying their best to provide appropriate treatment for the boy.
     The HA Co-Chairman of the Coordinating Committee in Paediatrics Dr Alan So said, "Children who have not completed the COVID-19 vaccination will have a higher risk of infection. The situation may be very serious when those unvaccinated are infected. There is a chance of serious symptoms including encephalitis or croup, requiring intensive treatment, and in severe cases it can lead to death. Patients might also develop medium and long-term after-effects after recovery."
     Starting from the fifth wave of the epidemic, nine children under 11 years who tested positive for COVID-19 have passed away. Eleven critical paediatric patients have stayed in paediatric intensive care units of public hospitals in the past two months.
     Dr So stated that the vaccination rate for children under three who received two doses of vaccine is only around 10 per cent at present and the situation is undesirable. He appealed to parents for arranging COVID-19 vaccination for their children immediately.
     "Studies have shown that co-infection of COVID-19 and influenza increases mortality substantially and Hong Kong will soon enter winter influenza season. To strengthen the protection of children, parents are suggested to arrange for their children the COVID-19 and also the seasonal influenza vaccinations at the same time as early as possible," Dr So added.
Ends/Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Issued at HKT 20:58
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