Booster shots available by mid-Nov: Patrick Nip

Secretary for the Civil Service, Patrick Nip, said on Monday that the government hopes to begin offering Covid-19 booster shots to vulnerable groups in about two weeks’ time.

Nip’s remarks came a few days after an expert panel advising the government recommended that a third dose of the coronavirus vaccines be given to people with compromised immune systems and those who have had two Sinovac jabs.

“We will make arrangements accordingly. We hope to announce details this week and begin giving the third shots before the middle of this month,” Nip told an RTHK programme.

“Of course the target groups are people over 60, medical staff and those working high risk jobs, and chronic patients. They will be given priority, and also people with weak immune systems including cancer patients and transplant recipients,” he said.

Nip said Hong Kong has about 1.7 million BioNTech jabs left, and urged people who haven’t had their first jabs to be inoculated as soon as possible.

The 21 community vaccination centres are set to close at the end of December, and Nip said he expects less than ten centres will extend services for the administration of booster shots.