'Vaccination rate for children needs to go up, fast' - RTHK
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'Vaccination rate for children needs to go up, fast'

2022-08-12 HKT 11:27
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  • Lau Yu-lung said the pace of inoculations for young children needs to increase quickly if they are to be adequately protected against an expected winter surge. File photo: RTHK
    Lau Yu-lung said the pace of inoculations for young children needs to increase quickly if they are to be adequately protected against an expected winter surge. File photo: RTHK
Pandemic advisor Lau Yu-lung on Friday urged parents to get Covid-19 jabs for their young children as soon as possible, saying time is running short to give kids the protection they need ahead of an expected surge in cases in winter.

Professor Lau – head of the government’s Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases – told a radio programme he personally would like to see 50 to 60 percent of children who are under three years to get triple-jabbed before the winter.

The government has said as of Thursday – a week after the launch of a vaccine programme for young children aged between six months and three years – only two percent of those eligible in this age group had received Sinovac jabs.

Lau said this isn’t good enough, pointing out that at present, children account for around a tenth of all Covid patients admitted to hospital.

He’s hoping that the expansion of the vaccination programme from Monday next week – when jabs for young children become available at all Maternal and Child Health Centres across Hong Kong – will lead to a surge in vaccinations.

He also said parents can make things easier by booking Covid jabs for their children at the same time as other required vaccinations.

"When children need to get vaccinated when they're one, one and a half or younger, they can get the Sinovac shots together with other vaccines. This saves time, parents don't need to make another booking. We need different channels [for inoculation] so that it's convenient," Dr Lau said on Metro Radio.

Lau, who's also the chair paediatrics professor at the University of Hong Kong, stressed that the Sinovac vaccine has been proven to be safe, and there’s no problem with getting the Covid vaccine at the same time as other jabs.