The Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases under the Centre for Health Protection recommended on Wednesday that the government provide mop-up HPV vaccination for secondary school female students or older girls aged 18 years or below.
Speaking on a radio program on Thursday morning, committee chairperson Lau Yu-lung said current practice will see the first dose of HPV vaccine
given via outreach by the authorities’ School Immunization Teams to Primary Five female students at their schools, and a second dose is given to the girls when they reach Primary Six in the following school year.
He said the vaccination rate in Hong Kong has reached up to 80 percent, but some underage girls may still need to be inoculated with the second dose, given they might have left school early.
Meanwhile, regarding the number of doses of HPV vaccine
required, Lau said upon reviewing the WHO recommendations, overseas practice, and scientific evidence, the committee recommends maintaining a two-dose schedule for immunocompetent individuals aged 9 to 14 years.
As for immunocompetent individuals aged 15 years or above, the committee recommended that the current three-dose schedule can be changed to two doses - which could provide similar protection, said Lau.
In 2017, the WHO said a two-dose schedule of HPV vaccines
was recommended for individuals receiving the first dose before 15 years of age, while a three-dose schedule was recommended for all vaccinations initiated at 15 years of age or above, including in those younger than 15 years known to be immunocompromised and/or HIV-infected.