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29 Jul 2013

Hong Kong, Scientific Committee recommends seasonal influenza vaccination for 2013/14 season (July 29 2013)

[Source: Centre for Health Protection, Hong Kong PRC SAR, full page: (LINK).]

Scientific Committee recommends seasonal influenza vaccination for 2013/14 season

A spokesman for the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (July 29) said that the CHP's Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases (SCVPD) had updated its recommendations on the application of the seasonal influenza vaccination in Hong Kong for the forthcoming 2013/14 influenza season.

Given that influenza vaccines are safe and effective, and that serious influenza infections can occur even in healthy individuals, the seasonal influenza vaccination is suitable for personal protection against clinical influenza for all persons, except those with known contraindications. Members of the public can consult their family doctors on the seasonal influenza vaccination for personal protection.

"The SCVPD, after reviewing local and overseas scientific evidence of influenza vaccination, recommended that nine target groups, which are the same as those in the last season, should receive the influenza vaccination," the spokesman said.

The target groups recommended for the seasonal influenza vaccination in the 2013/14 season are:

  • pregnant women;
  • elderly persons living in residential care homes;
  • long-stay residents of institutions for the disabled;
  • persons aged 50 years or above;
  • persons with chronic medical problems, including obesity (with body mass index of 30 or above);
  • health care workers;
  • children aged six months to five years;
  • poultry workers; and
  • pig farmers and pig-slaughtering industry personnel.

Among the target groups, pregnant women are recommended to have the highest priority for vaccination.

Vaccines to be used in the 2013/14 season (northern hemisphere) recommended by the SCVPD comprise:

  • A/California/7/2009(H1N1)-like virus;
  • A(H3N2) virus antigenically like the cell-propagated prototype virus A/Victoria/361/2011; and
  • B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus.

If quadrivalent influenza vaccine becomes available and is being used, it shall contain the above three viruses and the B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.

The full version of the SCVPD's recommendations was uploaded to the CHP's website ( ) today.

Ends/Monday, July 29, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:00