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Rules for vaccinated staff relaxed

The Government today announced its decision to maintain the current social distancing measures and specified that premises' staff who have completed a COVID-19 vaccination course will not be required to undergo regular testing.   The Food & Health Bureau pointed out that the number of local confirmed cases has declined to a lower level.   However, it explained that to continue containing the spread of the disease and to strive for zero case as soon as possible, taking into account the pressure for potential rebound of the epidemic brought by earlier relaxation of social distancing measures and the frequent gatherings among the public during the long holiday, the existing social distancing measures must be maintained for two more weeks.   Noting that the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme has been smoothly implemented for a while, the bureau said some staff of the catering business premises or scheduled premises have completed the vaccination course, ie after 14 days following

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Suspected adverse case explained

An expert committee today said a suspected serious adverse event following COVID-19 vaccination did not have a direct link with the jab.   The Expert Committee on Clinical Events Assessment Following COVID-19 Immunisation made the statement after it convened an urgent meeting to assess the case.   The 63-year-old man, who received a dose of the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine on February 26, suffered from acute shortness of breath with cough and attended Queen Elizabeth Hospital by himself in the early morning of February 28. His condition worsened rapidly and he succumbed that morning.   According to the Hospital Authority, the patient was a heavy smoker, had a history of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity and suspected ischemic heart disease.   The preliminary autopsy information revealed that he had serious coronary heart disease which led to acute myocardial infarction and pulmonary oedema, resulting in respiratory failure before passing away.   Having considered the medical conditions and history of the patient as well as relevant clinical data, available information related to the vaccine and preliminary autopsy findings, the expert committee conducted a causality assessment based on the World Health Organization’s algorithm.   It considered that the patient’s death was not directly associated with the COVID-19 vaccination but noted that a full autopsy report would be required to conclude the assessment.   The Department of Health emphasised that based on available data, there is no particular safety concern detected from the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine.   According to the product information of the vaccine, patients with uncontrolled severe chronic diseases should not receive the jab, the department said.   Patients with severe chronic illness should use the vaccine with caution and if necessary, delay vaccination until after a doctor’s assessment, it added.
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