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Policy Address measures highlighted

Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development Edward Yau today briefed members of the Trade & Industry Advisory Board on initiatives related to commerce and trade in the 2021 Policy Address.   Mr Yau said the Policy Address focuses on integration into national development and states that the developments of Hong Kong and the nation are closely related.   While the nation is the major growth engine and driving force for the global economy, the 14th Five-Year Plan, the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the Qianhai plan, the economic development pattern of not only greater domestic circulation but also domestic and international dual circulation, as well as the Belt & Road Initiative have brought unlimited opportunities for enterprises and professional services providers in Hong Kong.   The city must seize these opportunities and leverage its advantages, Mr Yau noted.   During the meeting, the commerce chief stressed that Hong

Vaccine recommendations published

The two scientific committees under the Centre for Health Protection convened a meeting today to provide recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccination for those with previous COVID-19 infection.   Joined by the Chief Executive’s expert advisory panel, the committees also discussed the existing evidence on COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness against different variants.       The meeting noted that previous COVID-19 infection usually confers immunity for at least six to nine months for the majority of patients. There is accumulating evidence showing that those previously infected with COVID-19 would be further protected by one dose of mRNA vaccines.   After receiving one dose of mRNA vaccine, these people may experience more systemic side effects, such as fatigue, headache, chills, muscle pain, fever and joint pain, when compared to those without prior infection.   People who wish to receive the mRNA vaccine should wait for at least 90 days after discharge from previous infection.   The meeting also noted that in general, studies have shown that the existing vaccines work well against the non-variant. The effectiveness data against variants differ by vaccines.   The Fosun Pharma/BioNTech vaccine is effective against the variants which first emerged in the UK and Brazil, but is less effective against the South African one.   There is currently limited efficacy data of CoronaVac developed by Sinovac Biotech (Hong Kong) against variants.   The vaccine developed by AstraZeneca in collaboration with the University of Oxford is effective against the UK variants but is ineffective against the South African one.   The meeting also agreed that the combination of non-pharmaceutical interventions with vaccination will allow for maximum protection against the virus. There is a need to continue social distancing, good hand hygiene and wearing a mask in public to reduce the risk of transmission.
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