Backlog forced HA to streamline jab inquiry services

More public hospitals are pitching in to help assess if people with allergies can get Covid-19 vaccines, after a clinic run by the Hospital Authority’s Hong Kong West Cluster was swamped with cases.

The Vaccine Allergy Safety Clinic at Grantham Hospital, which also follows up on people who had allergic reactions after vaccination, now has more than 4,000 cases on the waiting list, with reports saying some people have to wait till 2029.

The government’s coronavirus vaccination centres will shut down after the end of October.

Speaking on a radio show, Wallace Lau, who heads the cluster’s internal medicine unit that runs the service, apologised for the situation.

He said they’d received a “massive” 8,000-plus cases since March, with cases increasing in recent weeks.

“We receive several hundred cases every day… We call every patient to assess their situation, and many cases would quickly be transferred,” he said.

Lau believes with the help of specialists in other hospital clusters, people will soon get their assessments in the coming weeks.

The Vaccine Allergy Safety Clinic will then focus on the 1,200 people on the waiting list who had allergic reactions after vaccination.

Lau said it’s not safe for these people to receive the second dose of vaccine now.

Medics would review their cases as soon as possible to see if their allergic reactions were actually caused by the vaccine, and if they can take another type of vaccine, he said.

The expert also noted that Hong Kong has recorded far fewer cases of post-vaccination anaphylaxis than overseas.