Coronavirus: BioNTech vaccine for children may be available in Hong Kong as early as October


The long-awaited BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for children may be available in Hong Kong as early as next month after the drug maker this week applied to the government for permission to supply the lower-dosage shots.

The shots, containing just a tenth of the adult dosage, are considered sufficient in protecting against the coronavirus and are less likely to cause severe side effects such as myo-car-di-tis in the younger population.

Hong Kong authorities lowered the age threshold for Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine to six months on August 2 after several infected toddlers became seriously ill, with one 22-month-old girl dying.

But officials said they would hold talks over the procurement order and wait until BioNTech submitted its application before lowering the age of eligibility for the vaccine.

After receiving the application, members of the committees on vaccine preventable diseases and emerging and zoonotic diseases, will convene a joint session to review the data and make a recommendation to the government. The Health Bureau would then give final approval.

In June, the US drug agency approved the BioNTech vaccine for children between six months and four years old, after reviewing the company’s clinical data obtained during phase two and three trials.

As of Tuesday, 16,428 children aged two or under, accounting for 15.8 per cent of the population in the demographic, have taken a Covid-19 vaccine dose.

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