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Thursday, Feb 09, 2023

Health experts endorse 2nd generation vaccines

Health experts endorse 2nd generation vaccines

Experts claimed it is necessary to purchase the second-generation vaccine, known as a "bivalent" vaccine targeting two coronavirus variants of Omicron BA.4 and BA.5, as it provides better protection than the currently applied vaccine.
Authorities have received and were examining the application of BioNTech, the manufacturer of the Omicron-target booster, to introduce its new jabs into Hong Kong, after which to move forward with the application for the Advisory Panel on Covid Vaccines for review.

Ivan Hung Fan-ngai, one of the government advisors from the University of Hong Kong, touted the bivalent vaccine at a radio programme on Monday, claiming it could produce "more effective antibodies than the first-generation vaccines" toward the newly-emerged virus variant BA.2.75.2.

"The new variant will develop a stronger resistance to the two available kinds of oral Covid medication in Hong Kong," said Kwok Kin-on, a public health scholar from Chinese University, at the same programme.

However, another government expert advisor Lau Yu-lung slammed that purchasing the new generation vaccine was "untimely and wasting resources."

"Omicron has a fast process to develop variants while it takes time to move from researching to producing the updated vaccines," he said yesterday, "the second-generation vaccine would be 'outdated' again when introduced in the city."

He added the currently-applied two vaccines in Hong Kong are effective in preventing severe symptoms and death cases, thus no need to cause further resistance from citizens to get themselves inoculated.

Separately, Ho Pak-leung, the University of Hong Kong's microbiologist, called on citizens not to be overly worried about the new variant in the same programme, citing it would not cause more risk according to the situation in Singapore.

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