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About HKCFP > President’s Message

December 2021

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has designated B.1.1.529 as a Variant of The World Health Organisation (WHO) has designated B.1.1.529 as a Variant of Concern and Omicron was the name given to this latest variant of COVID-19 virus towards the end of November. This variant has been demonstrated to have a large number of mutations and is the most divergent variant during the COVID-19 pandemic thus far. Concerns have been raised that Omicron may be associated with much greater transmissibility, reduction in vaccine effectiveness, and higher risk for reinfections. (Please Click) The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) also announced in late November that they have been monitoring and following up the latest development of the mutant strain closely. The Government also implemented the most stringent boarding and quarantine requirements for inbound traffic, including arranging arriving passengers from specified high risk places to stay in quarantine centre for seven days and additional testing.

Despite it is still early days before we know more about the new variant of concern, experts are advising booster jabs to help building up the defence against the Omicron as some initial data revealed that even after 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, the antibody levels would decline over time. As mentioned in my November message, our local government has started to do so in November already. The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK is also putting a lot of emphasis on the booster jabs, aiming to provide the third vaccination to adults in UK by the end of the year. (Please Click) Likewise, some initial findings in Australia also demonstrated that having a booster jab increases neutralising antibodies which helps to enhance protection against the virus (Please Click)

Therefore, for people who have not yet received the first COVID-19 vaccination, please go ahead and do so if no contraindication existed. And those who are yet to get the second one, please go ahead to do so. And for those who are in the priority groups, please get the third jab at the earliest opportunity to get better protection against the virus. Family doctors are again in the pole position to advise the people in the community and provide vaccinations when needed. Thank you and please continue with your excellent work in building the community’s defence against the COVID-19 invasion.

In addition, as reminded by the WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, “Omicron is spreading at a rate we have not seen with any previous variant. I need to be very clear: vaccines alone will not get any country out of this crisis. It’s not vaccines instead of masks, distancing, ventilation or hand hygiene. Do it all. Do it consistently. Do it well.”

Thanks to the great work of the Hong Kong Primary Care Conference (HKPCC) Organising Committee and the College Secretariat, I am pleased to provide you with an advanced notice that our HKPCC 2022 would be held from 17th to 19th of June 2022. The Conference theme is entitled, “Committed. Versatile. Ever-growing: Primary Health Care in the Time of COVID”. There would be plenary sessions, theme-based seminars, interactive workshops and discussion forum. In addition, clinical case competition and full and free paper competitions would be open for your active participations too. We hope to provide an inspiring platform for bringing together international and local experts in addressing present and future healthcare challenges. Please stay tuned for further conference details to be announced and disseminated through our usual College communication channels.

Please keep well and stay safe.

Dr. David V K CHAO
President

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