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Macao advises double-jabbed people aged 18 or above to receive a booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine

Press conference of the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre

The Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) health authorities have updated their guideline regarding who is eligible to receive a booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine. All those aged 18 or above who have completed an initial two-dose process involving either Sinopharm’s inactivated vaccine or BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine are now advised to receive a booster shot.

The Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre announced in a regular press conference held on Thursday (6 January) that double-jabbed members of the public – regardless of whether they had previously opted for the inactivated vaccine or the mRNA vaccine – were advised to seek a booster dose of mRNA vaccine. This took into consideration data published by the World Health Organization, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and Hong Kong’s Department of Health.

The updated guideline also mentioned the possibility of a shortened interval between second dose and the booster dose. This would enable those that urgently needed a booster – such as people travelling either to the Taiwan region or to foreign countries – to get one. In general, the advice had previously been that a booster shot should only be administered six months after receipt of a second dose. Now, for those who urgently need it, the booster dose can be administered three months (but no fewer than 12 weeks) after receiving the second jab of an initial series of doses.

In view of the aggravated level of COVID-19 infection globally, the MSAR Government previously decided that all civil flights from places outside China would be prohibited from carrying passengers to Macao. The measure takes effect from after the stroke of midnight on Sunday (9 January) and runs until 11.59pm on 23 January.

The new measure will not preclude the applicability of other anti-epidemic control requirements.

As of 4pm on Thursday (6 January), a total of 982,600 COVID-19 vaccine jabs had been administered in Macao, according to statistics provided by the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre.

A total of 494,698 individuals in Macao was categorised as having received a vaccination against COVID-19. Of those, 29,819 people had received solely a first dose; 427,494 had received two doses of vaccine; and 37,385 had received a third dose of vaccine.

During the 24 hours from 4pm on Wednesday (5 January) to 4pm on Thursday (6 January), the Health Bureau received six notifications about reactions related to vaccination. There was zero incidence of a serious adverse event and six instances involving a minor event (of which two related to the Sinopharm vaccine and four related to BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine).

In Macao, a citywide COVID-19 vaccination programme was launched on 9 February, 2021. Since the beginning of the vaccination programme, there have been 4,022 notifications about reaction to vaccination, including 12 instances of serious adverse event and 4,010 cases of minor event.

Since the start of the pandemic, and up to 6 January, Macao has dealt with a total of 79 confirmed COVID-19 patients, with 77 from the aggregate already having been discharged. Currently, there are two patients – each categorised as an imported case of COVID-19 – staying at the Public Health Clinical Centre in Coloane.

Also being kept in isolation at the Centre are: five asymptomatic COVID-19 patients travelling from either a moderate- or a low-risk area in terms of presence of COVID-19 infection; one person undergoing post-recovery monitoring; one asymptomatic COVID-19 patient returning from a high-risk area outside China and with evidence of a relapse in their condition; two other people that had been in high-risk areas; and seven people who have respectively had close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient.

Since the start of the pandemic, Macao has had zero COVID-19-related deaths and zero infections among medical staff.

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