Hong Kong health experts recommend Covid XBB variant jabs for non-high-risk groups as initial vaccination


Hong Kong health experts have recommended that non-high-risk groups receive the Covid-19 vaccine targeting the XBB variant as their initial inoculation.

The specialists on Wednesday night said that when the supply of the vaccine was sufficient, its use for first inoculations should be opened up to healthy adults.

“When there is adequate supply, monovalent XBB mRNA vaccine is recommended to be extended to initial vaccination of non-high-risk priority groups who do not require booster vaccination,” the published recommendations said, a day after the experts from the Centre for Health Protection’s joint scientific committees met and update their advice.

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Citing early vaccine effectiveness studies, experts said the jab could provide enhanced protection against JN.1, which has become the predominant coronavirus variant in Hong Kong.

The vaccine is already being provided to high-risk priority groups, including the elderly and those with immunocompromising conditions, as a choice for their initial and booster vaccination.

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The experts noted that healthy adults could also opt for other vaccines as those jabs were also effective in reducing fatality and severe infection.

They also said high-risk groups should receive a booster dose at least six months after their last inoculation or Covid-19 infection to strengthen protection.

Regarding the expert’s suggestion to extend the vaccines to healthy adults, the government said it would closely monitor the supply of monovalent XBB mRNA vaccines and make suitable adjustments when appropriate.

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