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Doctor’s Advice: Routine Vaccinations for Kids in Hong Kong

ExpertsPost Category - ExpertsExperts

As the Hong Kong Medical Association recently issued new recommendations for child vaccines, we thought now would be a good time to give you a brief rundown of what vaccinations are needed for your kids!

At present, children from newborn to primary six should receive different types of vaccines and boosters free of charge, in order to protect them from 10 types of infectious diseases, such as German Measles and B.C.G., etc., based on the Department of Health’s Childhood Immunization Programme. It is also recommended for parents to schedule vaccinations for chickenpox, influenza, hepatitis A and 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.

From a physician’s point of view, it is worthwhile to provide as much protection for your children as possible (better safe than sorry!) Take chickenpox as an example: although children may still be infected with the disease after they’ve received a vaccination, the severity of the disease is largely reduced and the recovery time shortened.

The 10-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, provided by the government, covers 10 basic pneumococcal serotypes, but certain types of communities with higher species, such as type 3 pneumococcus, are covered only by the 13-valent vaccine. You should consider scheduling your children for all these vaccines to ensure they are fully protected.

Another common example is the flu. The peak seasons for influenza in Hong Kong run from January to March and from July to September each year. Children, pregnant women, chronically ill patients and the elderly are considered “high-risk groups”.

Many people confuse the flu with the common cold due to similar symptoms such as fatigue, a sore throat and a runny nose. As a matter of fact, if a child is suffering from influenza, their condition can deteriorate rapidly and the complications can be quite serious, especially for children suffering from asthma or other respiratory diseases such as pneumonia and bronchitis.

According to statistics, there are more than a thousand deaths due to influenza or related complications in Hong Kong each year.

The influenza virus is airborne and mainly spreads through droplets when infected people cough, sneeze and talk. Children between 6 months and 6 years old can receive influenza vaccines at private hospitals or clinics under the Hong Kong Influenza Vaccination Program this year for their personal protection. It is also highly recommended to strengthen their awareness of personal hygiene during the peak seasons of influenza.

For additional questions, consult your local doctor.

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