The Department of Health (DH) said on 9 February that it has all along been monitoring the administration and stock of seasonal influenza vaccines (SIVs) under the Government Vaccination Programme (GVP). To meet the current demand, on top of the additional 20,000 doses of SIVs procured in January, the government has further requested the vaccine suppliers to replenish an additional 24,000 doses of quadrivalent SIVs, which would be available in the coming weeks for vaccination for eligible persons with high risk of influenza infection under the GVP in Hong Kong. Over the past three weeks, the department has in total procured an additional amount of 44,000 doses of SIVs from the vaccine suppliers.

The DH said it has been closely liaising with the Hospital Authority (HA) on the demand for influenza vaccines, and will continue to closely monitor the demand for influenza vaccine and procure extra vaccines from vaccine suppliers as indicated.

On the supply of vaccines in the local private healthcare sector, the DH said it has been closely in touch with the vaccine suppliers and received confirmation from one vaccine supplier that extra quantities of quadrivalent SIVs have already been allocated and dispatched to the local private healthcare sector since 2 February and the provision is expected to be completed before the Chinese New Year (CNY). A new batch of vaccines will also arrive in Hong Kong in mid-March.

In addition, another vaccine supplier has also allocated extra quantities of quadrivalent SIVs, which are expected to become available to the local private healthcare sector after the CNY.

"To combat the influenza season, the SIVs used in Hong Kong were manufactured based on the latest recommendations from the World Health Organization for the northern hemisphere vaccine of 2017/18 season. The vaccines are valid up to mid-2018, but not the stock left from the last influenza season as alleged," the spokesman reiterated.

Before the launch of 2017/18 GVP, the government has contracted to purchase around 460,000 doses of SIVs, an increase of around 30,000 doses over the 2016/17 procurement. MIMS

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