Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Wednesday, Feb 01, 2023

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

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

Insider says local distributor of German-made vaccine has provided clinical data to health authorities, launching weeks-long approval process.

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 Post has learned.

Approval would give parents another option when inoculating their children against the virus, as only the Chinese-manufactured Sinovac is available for those as young as six months.

According to a source familiar with the situation, Fosun Pharma, which distributes the German manufacturer’s vaccine in the city, submitted documents this week to the Department of Health, including the latest clinical data on its jabs specific for children aged from six months to three years old.

“Submitting the papers would mean [the company] has enough stock to sell to us,” the insider said. “It could take just a few weeks’ time to complete the approval process, as it’s got all the data ready and the US Food and Drug Administration had also made the same authorisation based on the same set of data.”

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 myocarditis in the younger population.

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.

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.

Experts have said diluting the adult shots so they could be given to children was problematic, as the measurement and techniques involved required extreme precision and technical expertise.

While some parents appeared to have held off on inoculating their children until the BioNTech version became available, officials and experts have repeatedly urged them not to delay.

“The arrival of the BioNTech child vaccine could provide a choice to parents and hopefully close the gap on building enough immunity for the children,” the insider said.

Respiratory medicine specialist Dr Leung Chi-chiu said that providing the BioNTech jab, which is developed using mRNA technology, as an additional option for children would be welcomed by some vaccine-hesitant parents.

“Both vaccines have been proven to be effective and safe, with the choice available, hopefully, more parents would feel confident to let their kids get jabbed,” he said.

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.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
Close
0:00
0:00
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
Chinese search giant Baidu to launch ChatGPT like AI chatbot.
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
China is opening up for foreign investors.
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
China relaxes 'red lines' on property sector borrowing in policy pivot
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
Japan prosecutors indict man for ex-PM Shinzo Abe murder
Vietnam removes two deputy PMs amid anti-corruption campaign
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
China’s recovery could add 1% to Australia’s GDP: JPMorgan 
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
China vows to strengthen financial support for enterprises: official
International medical experts speak out against COVID-19 restrictions on China
2 Billion People To Travel In China's "Great Migration" Over Next 40 Days
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
Flight constraints expected to weigh on China travel rebound
Billionaire Jack Ma relinquishes control of Ant Group
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
Teslas now over 40% cheaper in China than US
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
China seeks course correction in US ties but will fight ‘all forms of hegemony’, top diplomat Wang Yi says
China will boost spending in 2023
African traders welcome end of China’s Covid travel curbs
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
Preparations begin for Spring Festival travel rush
Domestic COVID-19 drug effective in trial
HK to see a full recovery, John Lee says in New Year message
Bargain hunters flock to last day of Hong Kong brands and products expo
Hong Kong aims for January 8 reopening of border with mainland China
×