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Health chief calls on residents to get Covid-19 booster jab

Leong Iek Hou points to benefits of ‘mix and match’ vaccination, warns of ongoing threat posed by pandemic.

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Leong Iek Hou points to benefits of ‘mix and match’ vaccination, warns of ongoing threat posed by pandemic.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:43 am

The Health Bureau has reported that over 30 per cent of eligible potential vaccinees have received their Covid-19 booster jab.

Leong Iek Hou, who heads the bureau’s Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Division, made the remarks in an interview with public broadcaster TDM.

Macao’s Covid-19 booster vaccination programme covers over-18s who have been fully (twice) inoculated with Covid-19 inactivated vaccines or mRNA vaccines at least six months ago.

Both types of Covid-19 vaccines currently available in Macao, China’s Sinopharm inactivated vaccine and Germany’s BioNTech mRNA vaccine, are two-dose vaccines.

As of Sunday, according to Leong, around 240,000 people in Macao were eligible to receive a Covid-19 booster jab, about 75,750 of whom had already received the booster shot, representing a booster inoculation rate of 31.6 per cent.

Leong underlined that the antibody levels of those who have received two Covid-19 jabs will gradually drop as time passes, so their immunity to Covid-19 infection or ability to prevent themselves from suffering a serious condition or dying from the novel coronavirus disease will decline. Leong said that a booster jab is able to effectively raise the Covid-19 antibody levels.

According to Leong, the World Health Organization has said that those who choose an mRNA jab as their booster shot after receiving two shots of inactivated vaccines will develop a higher level of immunity against the novel coronavirus than those choosing to stick to an inactivated jab as their booster shot.

The Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention under the National Health Commission, Leong said, has also advised that those who have had two shots of inactivated vaccines will develop stronger immunity against Covid-19 if they choose to “mix and match” their booster shots, compared to choosing to stick to an inactivated jab.

Leong also said that Hong Kong’s Department of Health has also recommended that people receive an mRNA jab as their booster shot, regardless of having been fully inoculated with inactivated vaccines or mRNA vaccines, The Macau Post Daily reported.

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:43 am

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