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CHP acknowledges WHO's statement on antigen composition of COVID-19 vaccines
     Acknowledging the updated statement on antigen composition of COVID-19 vaccines from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (May 19) stressed that receiving COVID-19 vaccination can effectively reduce the risk of serious illness and death from infection and called on members of the public who have not received the first three doses of vaccine to get vaccinated as early as possible for self-protection.

     In its latest recommendation in relation to the development of new vaccines, apart from recommending the use of a monovalent XBB.1 descendent lineage as an option, the WHO stated that currently approved COVID-19 vaccines should continue to be used. The WHO recognised and reiterated that currently approved COVID-19 vaccines, including those based on the index virus (i.e., COVID-19 ancestral strain vaccines), continue to provide substantial protection against severe diseases and death, which is the primary objective for COVID-19 vaccination.

     Following the WHO's latest recommendation, the CHP spokesman stressed that the vaccines available in Hong Kong, including Comirnaty and CoronaVac vaccines, are highly effective in preventing severe cases and deaths from COVID-19.

     The CHP will continue to closely monitor the situation of SARS-CoV-2 mutations and the risks with emphasis on the protection of high-risk groups, and keep watch of WHO's latest assessments. The spokesman called on those who have not completed the first three doses of vaccine, as well as persons in the high-risk groups who have not yet received vaccine boosters as per experts' recommendation, to get vaccinated as early as possible for protection of oneself and one's family. High-risk groups are encouraged to receive an additional vaccine booster six months after their last dose or COVID-19 infection (whichever is later).

     Besides receiving vaccination, the spokesman advised again that persons who are symptomatic, even if having mild symptoms, should wear a surgical mask and seek medical advice promptly with a view to lowering the risk of spreading the virus to high-risk persons. Strict personal, hand and environmental hygiene should also be observed at all times.
Ends/Friday, May 19, 2023
Issued at HKT 20:43
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