Macao’s Covid-19 booster vaccination programme has been extended to all eligible groups of people, the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre has announced.
Eligible groups include all those aged 18 or over who were fully inoculated with the Sinopharm vaccine at least six months ago, and those in certain groups who were fully inoculated with the BioNTech vaccine at least six months ago.
Those fully inoculated with the BioNTech vaccine who are now covered by the booster jab programme comprise three groups, namely:
1) all those aged 60 or over;
2) those aged between 18 and 59 with a weak immune system; and
3) those aged between 18 and 59 who are potentially subject to a higher Covid-19 risk, or are more likely to suffer a serious condition after infection.
Those with a weak immune system comprise eight groups, namely:
1) cancer patients;
2) cerebrovascular disease patients, such as those who have suffered a stroke;
3) those with obesity;
4) those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
5) diabetes patients;
6) heart disease patients, such as those with coronary artery disease, and those with cardiomyopathy – i.e., different kinds of diseases that affect the heart muscle;
7) those with chronic kidney disease; and
8) current and former smokers.
Those who are potentially subject to a higher Covid-19 risk, or are more likely to suffer a serious condition after infection, comprise eight groups, namely:
1) those working at medical institutions, social service facilities, educational institutions, correctional institutions, or Covid-19 medical observation quarantine hotels and other quarantine facilities;
2) those in frequent contact with patients, senior citizens, or people with disabilities;
3) those in frequent contact with people entering Macao from elsewhere or a large number of members of the public;
4) those living in collective residential venues, such as retirement homes, care homes for those with disabilities, or nursing homes;
5) those working at border checkpoints, those engaged in Covid-19 epidemiological investigations, or those working in the frozen food sector;
6) those performing duties ensuring the basic operation of civil society, such as those working in the public utility sector, those working in the transport sector, or those working at the city’s fresh food wholesale market;
7) those who are planning to visit Covid-19 high-risk areas; and
8) other individuals regarded by the health authorities as being potentially subject to a higher risk to the novel coronavirus, or more likely to suffer a serious condition after infection.
Currently, only those aged between 18 and 59 who have been fully inoculated with the BioNTech vaccine but are not subject to a higher Covid-19 risk are not covered by Macao’s Covid-19 booster vaccination drive.
Macao started administering Covid-19 vaccine booster jabs on Tuesday last week to those who were fully inoculated against the novel coronavirus at least six months ago.
The booster vaccination drive is being carried out in two phases. During the first phase, the booster shots were only given to three major groups of people, namely:
1) those working in occupations that are potentially subject to a higher Covid-19 risk;
2) those with a weak immune system such as heart disease and diabetes patients; and
3) immunocompromised individuals, such as cancer patients who are receiving radiotherapy, those who have had an organ transplant, and those with HIV/AIDS.
Except immunocompromised individuals, all other eligible vaccinees receive a third Covid-19 vaccine dose as their booster jabs. People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised are first given a third primary dose at least 28 days after having their second Covid-19 jab, before receiving a fourth dose as their booster shots at least six months afterwards.
Moderately or severely immunocompromised individuals are covered by the booster jab programme as long as they are aged 12 or over, which is different to all other eligible vaccinees whose minimum age is 18 for the administration of a booster shot.
According to an announcement by the centre early this month, four groups of people are not covered by Macao’s Covid-19 booster jab programme, namely:
1) all those aged below 12;
2) all those aged between 12 and 17 who are not moderately or severely immunocompromised;
3) those aged between 18 and 59 who have received two BioNTech jabs but are not subject to a higher Covid-19 risk; and
4) those who have been fully inoculated against Covid-19 with an adenovirus vector vaccine.
Meanwhile, the Public Administration and Civil Service Bureau has announced that Macao’s 32,000 public servants who have received their third Covid-19 booster jab can apply for one-day leave, either on the day of receiving the jab or the next day.
The statement underlined that all public servants have the responsibility to comply with the government’s Covid-19 prevention work by getting fully vaccinated against Covid-19 so as to protect the health of themselves, their family members and members of the public, reported The Macau Post Daily.