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40th Anniversary Celebration
About HKCFP > President’s Message

July 2021

The Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases (SCVPD) and the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases (SCEZD) under the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health (DH) (JSC) together with the Chief Executive's Expert Advisory Panel (EAP) had met in June and subsequently updated the interim recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in Hong Kong. (please click) In the new interim recommendations, the eligible age groups for receiving Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine has been lowered to age 12, as the Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine has been reported to have high efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 disease. Therefore, adjusting down the recommended age to 12 for receiving the Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine would be important to protect the adolescents against symptomatic COVID-19 disease, to reduce community transmission of COVID-19, and to enhance the overall herd immunity. The Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) of World Health Organisation (WHO) has also recently concluded that the Pfizer/BionTech vaccine is suitable for use by people aged 12 years and above. (please click)

The JSC-EAP noted that there were reported cases of mild myocarditis/ pericarditis in overseas countries following vaccination with Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine and the probability for a possible link between the second dose and the onset of myocarditis among young adults. Therefore, it is recommended to monitor ongoing studies on this possible link. The JSC-EAP considered that the benefits of Comirnaty COVID19 vaccine in reducing overall deaths and hospitalisations due to COVID-19 infection outweigh the risks, and recommended the use of Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine for those aged between 12 to 15.

The updated Consensus Interim Recommendations also reiterated the importance of COVID-19 vaccination for the elderly since older people as a group bears the highest risks of complication and death from COVID-19 disease. Healthcare systems around the globe have been using inactivated vaccines, e.g. influenza vaccines, in successfully preventing influenza complications and outbreaks in residential care homes for the elderly for a long time. Therefore, it is recommended that any elderly people who have received influenza vaccines before can safely receive COVID-19 vaccines. Only for the frailest of the elderly, the benefit versus risk may have to be carefully weighed. According to the official data announced, the COVID-19 vaccination uptake amongst the elderly population has been rather slow and less than enthusiastic. As they are at the highest risk of having severe complications after contracting COVID-19 disease, the elderly should be encouraged to receive the vaccination early if no contraindications existed.

Riding on the success of our first ever digital Hong Kong Primary Care Conference (HKPCC) in 2020, we are looking forward to welcoming you all to the HKPCC 2021 which is to take place from 30 July – 1 August 2021 via an online platform. (please click) This year the theme of the Conference is entitled, “Our Finest Hour: Stride through the Storm”. The Conference will continue to bring together international and local experts, family doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, and other primary care providers in sharing clinical knowledge, expertise and experiences. It will also provide a platform for potential collaborations and networking opportunities. The scientific programme is comprised of plenary and seminar sessions, including topics related to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine, mental health, big data, psoriasis, motivational interviewing, clinical updates, research, education and more. There will also be full paper competitions, clinical case competitions, e-posters and e-booths exhibitions. There would be something to suit every taste. See you at the HKPCC 2021 soon!

The 33rd and 34th Fellowship Conferment Ceremony and the 31st Dr. Sun Yat Sen Oration will be held on 1 August 2021 (Sunday), right after the HKPCC 2021, from 4:30pm at the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine Jockey Club Building. Many congratulations again to all the successful candidates of 2020 and 2021!

Please keep well and stay safe.

Dr. David V K CHAO