Experts ‘have no objection’ on kids getting jabs

Experts who advise the government on the pandemic and vaccines on Monday said they have “no objection” on inoculating young children aged between five and 11 against the coronavirus.

Members of the joint scientific committee under the Centre for Health Protection and the chief executive’s expert advisory panel said they updated the recommendation in view of the transmission of the Omicron variant in Hong Kong.

The experts said while both the Sinovac and BioNTech jabs can lower the risk of severe disease and death, the BioNTech vaccine “may provide additional protection against Omicron infection.”

Both vaccines should be rolled out at the same time to provide “real choice,” they added, urging the government to expedite its process in authorising the use of the jabs on young children.

Children opting for BioNTech would only get one-third of an adult dose and are recommended to get jabbed in the mid-thigh, though an injection at the upper arm is also fine, the experts said.

The experts also said inoculating the elderly population is still an urgent matter, especially those living in care homes, and they should have priority over children.