Government vaccine experts in Hong Kong have stated that they do not rule out the potential of a fourth Covid-19 vaccination for citizens, with the city set to begin administering third injections under its booster program next week.
Professor David Hui Shu-cheong, a government pandemic adviser, proposed the proposal following the Macau government’s official guidance last week that the third dose should be given at least 28 days after the second injection and the fourth dose six months after the third jab.
On a separate program, Professor Wallace Lau Chak-sing, convenor of the advisory panel on Covid-19 vaccines, stated that while there was insufficient data to support the need for a fourth or fifth dose, it was possible that residents would require annual vaccinations in the future as antibody levels declined.
Individuals who have received the Sinovac vaccine manufactured in China may also obtain a third dose even if they do not fall into the vulnerable category, though such situations will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by on-site specialists.
Hui stated on Saturday that the amount of antibodies in a person vaccinated with the Sinovac injection may decline to a negligible level six to eight months after the second jab.
When asked whether those who had previously received vaccinations should also receive precedence for the third dose, Hui stated that those with weakened immune systems should be prioritized.
“We require a systematic rollout of the immunization program. If you are a healthy individual who received the BioNTech vaccine and have sufficient antibodies after six to ten months, there is no need to rush,” he said.
This, however, might be increased to 97 percent from roughly 30% if they choose the German-made BioNTech vaccine as their third dose, compared to 58 percent for another Sinovac shot, the expert said.
“If the third dose is Sinovac, you may require a fourth shot six to eight months later owing to the decline in antibody levels,” Hui explained on a radio show.
“By comparison, if you choose BioNTech as your third dose, your antibody levels will spike far higher and last significantly longer as they decline.”
Hong Kong unlike Singapore is facing high levels of vaccine hesitancy and elderly residents in the city who are most vulnerable are the slowest to take up the potentially life-saving jabs.
Fortunately for Hong Kong, false science theory like the use of Ivermectin as a miracle drug against Covid-19 has not taken hold unlike in Singapore where at least 1 woman ended in hospital for overdosing on the parasitic drug.