Updated jab booking set

December 7, 2022

The Government today announced that people aged 18 or above may make appointments from December 9 for receiving the BioNTech bivalent vaccine as their third dose and may reserve the fifth dose from December 16 if they have completed four doses.


The scientific committees under the Centre for Health Protection and the Chief Executive's expert advisory panel recommended earlier that the BioNTech bivalent vaccine can be used as an alternative to the fourth dose for eligible people aged 12 or above or as the third dose for those who have recovered from COVID-19 in that age group following the current vaccination schedule.


According to the experts' latest recommendations, the bivalent jab can also be used as an alternative to the third dose for people aged 18 or above or as the second dose for recovered people in the same age group.


The Government accepted such latest recommendations and announced that starting from 9am on December 9, members of the public may choose to receive the BioNTech bivalent vaccine when they make appointments to get the third or fourth dose. Recovered people may make the same choice when they book for receiving the second or third dose.


As a facilitation measure, people aged 18 or above may make a request on site for receiving the bivalent jab as the third dose, or the second dose for recovered people, before the completed revamp of the booking system.


For administering the fifth vaccine dose, the experts considered that if people aged 18 or above have received four doses or three doses with prior infection more than half a year ago, they may choose to receive an additional dose six months after their last dose or recovery for better protection under informed consent.


A similar approach also applies to immunocompromised people aged 18 or above, with a shortened time interval of three months.


As such, the Government is enhancing the functions of the vaccination record system and the online booking system. People may make online bookings for the fifth dose, or the fourth dose for recovered people, from 9am on December 16 and receive the jab the same day.


Meanwhile, the Government said it has arranged for outreach medical teams to visit residential care homes for the elderly and disabled people to administer the BioNTech bivalent vaccine for residents.


Following the experts' recommendations that care home residents who have completed four doses or three doses with previous infection may choose to receive an additional dose of bivalent vaccine and the bivalent vaccine can be used as an option for the third and fourth dose for adult residents, the Social Welfare Department has written to various care homes to introduce the BioNTech bivalent vaccine and indicate that residents may now choose to receive the fifth dose according to their needs.


Residents may express their wish to the care homes and the Government will make arrangements for outreach medical teams to provide vaccination services as soon as possible.


Under the latest arrangement, apart from the BioNTech bivalent vaccine, care home residents may also choose the Sinovac or the BioNTech ancestral strain vaccine under informed consent as their third, fourth or fifth dose.


In addition to closely monitoring the situation of administering COVID-19 vaccines, the Government said it will regularly review the vaccination programme and adjust the vaccination priority of different groups when necessary.


It will also examine whether there is a need to launch a new round of the programme next year having regard to the latest scientific evidence and experts' recommendations, including considering whether to regularise COVID-19 vaccination.

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