A doctor in charge of the Hospital Authority’s paediatric services said on Thursday that the number of young children infected with Covid-19 who have to be admitted to hospital has been increasing in recent weeks, as he urged parents to have their kids vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Alan So, chairman of the HA’s central coordinating committee on paediatrics, told an RTHK programme that more infected children had developed serious illnesses as well. Three of them have been put under intensive care and he’s worried about the trend.
So made the comment on the day the government started administering the Sinovac vaccine to children as young as six months after lowering the age limit for the inactived virus vaccine.
From Thursday, parents or guardians could make online bookings for toddlers to receive the Sinovac jabs at community vaccination centres or designated Hospital Authority outpatient clinics, or take their children to certain private doctors to get the shots for free.
But the minimum age for the BioNtech vaccine remains at five.
“We can see that most of the children admitted to hospitals, especially those who were seriously ill, are aged below three years," So noted.
"Previously, the vaccines were not available for them. So, the chances for them to develop serious illnesses are much higher. That’s why I’m happy to learn that the vaccines are now available to children younger than three,” he added.
He said common side-effects of the jabs include pain at the inoculation site and a low fever.