A two-year-old boy who contracted Covid-19 is in a coma, according to local media reports.
Commercial Radio reported that the boy started displaying symptoms last Friday, including a croup — an infection of the upper airway that obstructs breathing and causes a barking-like cough — and breathing difficulties.
After admitting to a hospital, he was sent to an intensive care unit and is currently intubated.
Chairman of the Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases Lau Yu-lung told the radio station that the boy is not vaccinated and has a high viral load.
He explained that the child fell into a coma because the trachea of children is narrower, making it easy for them to not get enough oxygen when breathing is difficult.
Lau also said the hospital tried to reduce the swelling caused by the inflammation and dilate the bronchial tubes, but the boy was still not getting enough oxygen, hence requiring an intubation.
The chairman pointed out that the boy’s family members have also been diagnosed with the coronavirus, including a sister who is not jabbed. Her condition is stable.
He added that there have been many Covid-19 cases of children admitted to hospitals in recent days.
Lau urged parents not to hesitate and to take their children to get jabbed as soon as possible.
He also said that parents should seek medical attention as soon as possible if they find that their child has difficulties breathing.
Separately, the government has made it easier for children to get vaccinated.
Starting today, the community vaccination centre at Tsing Yi MTR station and the children community vaccination centre at Hong Kong Children’s Hospital will concurrently provide vaccination service for both the Sinovac and BioNTech vaccines. Previously, the centers only offreed the BioNTech option.
Maternal and child health centres under the Department of Health will also provide the Sinovac vaccine to children aged 6 months to 3 years when they receive regular services with bookings.
Secretary for the Civil Service Ingrid Yeung, who is in charge of coordinating the city’s vaccination drive, told reporters after visiting the vaccination center at Hong Kong Children’s Hospital that there were currently more than 3,000 children aged 6 months to 3 years who have been jabbed.
She hoped that the number could increase soon and urged parents not to hesitate to take their children to get vaccinated.