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HK govt says Covid jabs to start next month

03 January 2021

By The SUN 

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is among those ordered by the HK govt

Hong Kong’s secretary for civil service Patrick Nip says residents can start getting vaccinated for Covid-19 by next month.

Patrick Nip, who’s in charge of the vaccination program, said Saturday that those in the priority list will get their free jabs at hospitals, clinics, public vaccination centres and elderly homes.

Nip said in a Facebook post that a committee involved in the vaccination program met for the first time on Tuesday, and discussed issues like who gets priority for the vaccines and where they should be administered.

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The government had said previously that those who will be prioritized are medical frontliners, the elderly, and those with life-threatening ailments.

Nip said the government would conduct a public information campaign to provide answers to questions and concerns often raised in connection with the vaccine.

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"We will let people have scientific knowledge and make an informed choice in getting vaccinated, so as to achieve the aim of protecting themselves and fighting the epidemic," he wrote.

He said preparations for the launch of the vaccination program will finish by the end of this month.

Hong Kong has ordered 7.5 million doses each from mainland-based company Sinovac and Pfizer-BioNTech, a joint undertaking by drug giants from the United States and Germany,  enough to cover the two doses needed by each Hong Kong resident.

In addition, the government also ordered another 7.5 million doses from Oxford-AstraZeneca, a British-Swedis pharmaceutical company.

The government had earlier said the Sinovac would be available by this month, while the Pfizer one could come in the first quarter of the year. However, the latest information was that the vaccines’ arrival could be delayed.

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Many people in Hong Kong are wary about getting the Covid vaccine, citing media reports of adverse reactions, even deaths, being attributed to some of the vaccines. Some reports also suggest that some of the vaccines have shown to be only about 70% effective.

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To allay people’s concerns, the Hong Kong government has undertaken to take out insurance on those who will get the vaccines.

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