Covid-19 | Gov’t mulling extending mRNA vaccination to young children


The government is planning to extend the mRNA vaccination to adolescents aged 12 or above, said Tai Wa Hou last Friday. Tai, who is the coordinator of the Health Bureau’s Covid-19 Vaccination Operation, hinted that the option is “feasible.”
“The statistics [of mRNA vaccination for children] compiled in different parts of the world proved that it is safe and efficient. We are planning to lower the age for mRNA vaccination to 12,” he added.
The Macau government is now studying the feasibility and operation of such a proposal, he stated.
Its counterpart Hong Kong has already allowed children as young as 12 to be booked for mRNA-based BioNTech shots since June 11. The debut inoculation rollout for these age groups commenced on June 14.
However, spordiac reported cases of children, especially boys, suffering from heart inflammation after having mRNA vaccines raised public concerns.
On June 10 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that there is a higher-than-expected number of young men (16- to 24-year-olds) who have experienced heart inflammation after their second dose of the mRNA shots manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.
In addition, the Health Ministry of Israel also announced that it found a possible association between heart inflammation in young men and Pfizer shots.
In response to this, Tai said that he is also aware of the adverse events. However, he gave reassurance to the public that there is demonstrably no solid scientific evidence to prove there is a link between vaccination and heart inflammation.
“Some of these cases are found to be caused by bacterial infection and have nothing to do with the [mRNA] vaccination itself,” he stressed.
He also stressed that the symptoms of heart inflammation normally recede and most patients have not developed any ongoing symptoms afterward.
Considering the recently increasing number of residents returning to Macau from foreign countries, the government has designated Sheraton Grand Macao as a quarantine facility starting from today. It will offer up to 2,000 rooms.
In addition, the vaccination quota has been ramped up to 2,000 daily at the Macau Forum since June 12. The respective quotas of Kiang Wu Hospital and University Hospital will also be increased to 550 and 330 daily from June 15.

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