Experts advising the government said on Wednesday the days of compulsory vaccination against Covid-19 are long gone, but those who are considered high risk are still advised to take a booster shot.
This came a day after the World Health Organisation (WHO) revised its global vaccine recommendation, saying that high-risk groups should get a booster shot six to 12 months after their last dose.
Lau Yu-lung, who chairs the Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases, said high-risk individuals – such as people aged 50 or above, those with chronic diseases, pregnant women and frontline medical staff – should get an extra dose this year.
But Lau stressed it's not mandatory, adding that vaccine pass is a thing of the past.
"This current recommendation will be a recommendation. And it will not be the same as in the previous years and months that we had other measures like vaccine pass and so on and we're really pushing, pushing and pushing," he said.
Under the new WHO guidelines, healthy children and teenagers may not need to get jabbed due to cost-effectiveness.
But local experts said children are still recommended to be triple jabbed.
Lau said experts had taken into account the local situation when reviewing their vaccine strategy.
"The WHO recommendation also mentioned that each country and region should take into account their local context, so indeed that was what we have done. We managed to take into account our local condition, that we are not resource-constrained, and the WHO recommendation needs to take into consideration a lot of regions that are not as well off as Hong Kong," he said.