On Mar 31, 2023, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region announced that from April 20 onwards, high risk groups shall be able to receive free doses of the COVID-19 vaccines whereas the low risk groups, including children, are only able to receive their vaccines via the private market through self-pay method.. SINOVAC’s provision of CoronaVac® shall fulfill the needs of this low-risk groups, while helping to address future potential COVID-19 outbreaks. Immunisation appointments can be made directly with private medical institutions and clinics.
“SINOVAC’s ongoing fight against COVID-19 is based on our mission to ‘supply vaccines to eliminate human diseases,’” said Yin Weidong, Chairman, President, and CEO of SINOVAC. “>From developing the COVID-19 vaccine, to obtaining market approvals, from the first CoronaVac® shipment landing in Hong Kong 800 days ago, to the rollout of a massive public vaccination program, SINOVAC and Hong Kong have taken steps together to emerge from the shadows of the pandemic. Looking forward, SINOVAC remains committed to meeting public health needs.”
CoronaVac® is the first COVID-19 vaccine to be used in children from as young as three years old, under the World Health Organization’s Emergency Use List. As of March 2023, CoronaVac® has been authorized for use in more than 60 countries, regions, and international organizations. The cumulative global supply exceeds 2.9 billion doses.
Several published studies have shown that CoronaVac® has a good safety profile for healthy people, as well as for people with special health conditions, effectively reducing severe illness and deaths related to COVID-19. During the outbreak of the omicron variant in Hong Kong, adults who had been vaccinated with three doses showed more than 90% protection against serious or fatal illness. The vaccine’s effectiveness against moderate to severe disease has been shown to be as high as 95.8% in children aged 3 to 18, who were given two doses.
Hospitalization and the long-term effects of COVID-19 can be serious, particularly among children, underscoring the need for accessible and affordable vaccinations and boosters.
During the fifth wave of the pandemic in Hong Kong in 2022, researchers at the University of Hong Kong analyzed 1,144 cases of children aged 11 or younger who were hospitalized due to COVID-19. The analysis found that two deaths (0.2%) out of 1,144 cases during the initial omicron wave were recorded; twenty-one (1.8%) required pediatric ICU admission, and the relative risk was higher for omicron than the influenza virus. The number of neurological complications was 15% for omicron, which was higher than the influenza and parainfluenza viruses.
The enduring consequences of post-COVID conditions, including multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) and long COVID, can result in persistent health issues for children such as central nervous system damage, impaired memory, and insomnia, even if they recover from the initial infection. It is crucial to acknowledge that the impact on children's health should not be underestimated.
“In order to reduce the risk of infection among children and to keep in consideration that the majority of children do not belong to the priority group for free booster shots, SINOVAC has come up with a vaccine donation plan,” said Helen Yang, Chief Business Officer of SINOVAC. “In its early stage, we plan to provide thousands of free doses of CoronaVac® for children aged 3 to 12 in Hong Kong, including local and non-local residents. SINOVAC is actively seeking opportunities for collaboration and has been in discussions with organizations in Hong Kong to explore the feasibility of free vaccination. We hope to bring this benefit to the local community as soon as possible.”
Some regions, including most markets in Europe and America, currently do not have the supply of inactivated COVID-19 vaccines for children., which leaves parents who prefer the safety and effectiveness of inactivated vaccines with limited options. SINOVAC is addressing these concerns by supplying the private market in Hong Kong with their inactivated COVID-19 vaccine, thus offering a viable solution for these patients.
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 HKSAR news.gov.hk: Professor Lo Chung Mo’s Chinese article dated 15 Sept 2022. https://www.news.gov.hk/chi/2022/09/20220915/20220915_145920_647.html
Sinovac Biotech Ltd. (SINOVAC) is a China-based biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the R&D, manufacturing, and commercialization of vaccines that protect against human infectious diseases.
SINOVAC's product portfolio includes vaccines against COVID-19, enterovirus 71 (EV71) infected Hand-Foot-Mouth disease (HFMD), hepatitis A, varicella, influenza, poliomyelitis, pneumococcal disease, and mumps.
The COVID-19 vaccine, CoronaVac®, has been approved for use in more than 60 countries and regions worldwide. The hepatitis A vaccine, Healive®, passed WHO prequalification requirements in 2017. The EV71 vaccine, Inlive®, is an innovative vaccine under “Category 1 Preventative Biological Products” and was commercialized in China in 2016. In 2022, SINOVAC's Sabin-strain inactivated polio vaccine (sIPV) and varicella vaccine were prequalified by the WHO.
SINOVAC was the first company to be granted approval for its H1N1 influenza vaccine Panflu.1®, which has supplied the Chinese government's vaccination campaign and stockpiling program. The Company is also the only supplier of the H5N1 pandemic influenza vaccine, Panflu®, to the Chinese government stockpiling program.
SINOVAC continually dedicates itself to new vaccine R&D, with more combination vaccine products in its pipeline, and constantly explores global market opportunities. SINOVAC plans to conduct more extensive and in-depth trade and cooperation with additional countries, and business and industry organizations.
For more information, please see the Company’s website at www.sinovac.com.
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