The list of types of people in Hong Kong who should not receive a Sinovac coronavirus vaccine has been updated by health chiefs as the city reported 18 new infections on Tuesday – 13 of which were locally transmitted, two of the new cases were of unknown origin.

Health officials said on Monday that people with a history of allergic reactions to any component of the Sinovac jab or other inactivated vaccines, those who had experienced severe allergic reaction to any vaccines, patients suffering from severe neurological conditions or uncontrolled serious chronic illness, and pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take the Sinovac jab.

Photo: GovHK.

The updated instructions come in the wake of seven people dying within days of receiving the Sinovac jab since the end of February. However the Department of Health on Monday ruled out any direct causal link between the deaths and the vaccine.

However, Choi Kin, chairperson of the Hong Kong Medical Association told an RTHK radio show that the latest instructions from the department were unclear, and that it might be difficult for doctors in private practice to follow the guidelines.

“It’s tough to give pertinent advice on the vaccine if the doctor does not have any previous information on the patient,” said Choi, referring to situations where people may go to doctors that they have not seen before for a vaccine.

More ambush lockdowns

The government imposed two more coronavirus lockdowns in Sai Ying Pun and Central and Western districts. No cases were found after more than 700 people were tested overnight.

Coronavirus lockdown in Sai Ying Pun on Monday. Photo: Michael Ho/Studio Incendo.

The Ursus Fitness gym cluster recorded five more cases on Tuesday, brining the total linked to it to 127 infections. One of the infections of unknown origin is a member of staff of the Consulate General of the United States in Hong Kong. The consulate has been closed since Monday while contact tracing was underway.

Block C of the police staff quarters in Ho Man Tin reported four cases. Patients aged between 10 and 41 were listed as epidemiologically linked to previous cases.

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.