Over 11,000 in HK booked their Omicron boosters, says civil service chief

Hong Kong’s civil service chief said over 11,000 people have booked their booster shots that protect against both the highly-infectious Omicron variant and the original Covid strain, with the jabs available in the city starting Thursday.

Around 770,000 doses of the so-called bivalent shots arrived in the territory on Friday. The BioNTech bivalent jabs would only be available as a fourth dose alternative.

Speaking on a radio program Monday morning, Secretary for the Civil Service Ingrid Yeung Ho Poi-yan, said the rule of having the vaccine only available as a fourth dose alternative is recommended by the government’s expert panel.

The decision may be temporary and the government will review it to see if the vaccine could also be available as a third dose alternative, said Yeung.

She added that the 1.9 million doses of the vaccine procured by the government should be enough to handle the demand.

Meanwhile, Society of Hospital Pharmacists president William Chui Chun-ming said a number of people in Hong Kong were already eligible for taking a fourth booster dose.

He worried the vaccine authorities procured would not be enough for everyone, with people willing to take up the jabs for overseas travel.

Chui also called on authorities to make the Omicron boosters available as a third dose option.