Children as young as six months can receive a BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine from Wednesday, the Hong Kong government has announced.

The emergency use of the vaccine was approved last month, meaning that two Covid-19 vaccines are now available to children in the city. The Sinovac jab was already an option for toddlers.

A vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. File photo: U.S. Secretary of Defense, via Wikicommons.

Bookings for the toddler version of BioNTech vaccine opened on Sunday. Appointments can be made on the government’s Covid-19 vaccination booking website.

Due to a special procedure required to dilute the vaccines, children aged under 12 can only be vaccinated in four Children Community Vaccination Centres (CCVC), and no walk-in services or same-day tickets are arranged.

List of vaccination centres for children aged 12 or under – click to expand:
  • Hong Kong Children’s Hospital CCVC
    • Address: G/F, Clinical Tower (Tower B), Hong Kong Children’s Hospital, 1 Shing Cheong Road, Kowloon Bay
  • The University of Hong Kong CCVC at Gleneagles Hospital Hong Kong
    • Address: 1 Nam Fung Path, Wong Chuk Hang
    • Open on Tuesdays and Sundays
  • Chinese University of Hong Kong Medical Centre
    • Address: 9 Chak Cheung Street, Sha Tin
    • Open on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays
  • Osman Ramju Sadick Memorial Sports Centre
    • Address: 176 Hing Fong Road, Kwai Chung

Ingrid Yeung, secretary for the civil service, urged parents to get their children vaccinated in a government statement on Saturday.

“Children have weaker resistance to diseases and they can fall into severe condition should they get infected with the Covid-19 virus. They may also develop medium and long-term after-effects after recovery,” Yeung said in the statement.

Covid-19 vaccination for children, Ingrid Yeung
Photo: GovHK.

“Vaccination can reduce the risks of serious illness and death and I appeal to parents to act fast and place Covid-19 vaccination bookings for their children for the sake of their health,” Yeung continued.

Change in Covid-19 testing method

From Tuesday, people undergoing free Covid-19 tests at government testing points will only have to take a throat swab, instead of having to take swabs from their nasal passages and throats, the government announced on Saturday.

The new arrangements will be put in place at community testing centres and stations, temporary sample collection stations, as well as the testing points at the Hong Kong International Airport for incoming travellers.

The testing method will not change for self-paid tests at those locations, the Health Bureau said in the statement.

The administration did not give a reason for the change in testing method, but said that only having throat swabs could “also achieve high sensitivity.”

Hong Kong reported 4,988 new Covid-19 infections and 13 deaths on Sunday. The city has recorded over 1.94 million cases and 10,470 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic over two years ago.

Correction 08:15: A previous version of the article wrong stated that the toddler version of the BioNTech vaccine will be available from Thursday, it should be Wednesday. We regret the error.

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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.