Responsive Ad Slot




Buhay Pinay



Philippine News

Join us at Facebook!

18k people get jabbed ahead of Feb 24 rollout of ‘vaccine bubble’

04 January 2022

By Daisy CL Mandap 

CE Lam says the vaccine bubble for inoculated residents will start on Feb 24

Almost 18,000 people rushed to get vaccinated yesterday, in anticipation of the introduction of the vaccine bubble that will bar unvaccinated people from entering restaurants and other leisure venues.

This was revealed by Chief Executive Carrie Lam today, Jan 4, at a press briefing ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting.

Mrs Lam said the number of those who queued up for a vaccine yesterday was the highest in recent days, and pushed up Hong Kong’s vaccination rate to 72.9%. About 15,000 of these people received their first dose.


The rush to get jabbed was sparked by an announcement by Health Secretary Sophia Chan on Dec 31 that a vaccine bubble would be introduced before the Lunar New Year which starts on Feb 1.

However, the CE said the original target date was too close and would not give enough time for premises, particularly restaurants, to make the necessary arrangements. She set down the implementation date to Feb 24, or “seven weeks from now.”

Many elderly residents had their first jab, apparently afraid of missing out on 'yum cha' (File)

But at the same time, she said the coverage of the bubble will be expanded to include schools and leisure venues such as libraries and museums.

However, the requirement will not apply to children below 12 years old and those who can prove that they are medically unfit to get the vaccine.

Press for details

She ruled out extending the vaccine bubble to malls and offices for now, citing the “far-reaching impact” of such steps.

“At the moment there is no plan to include private premises because that will amount to a lockdown. But we are not closing doors to this,” she said.

Mrs Lam also ruled out a further tightening of social distance measures, including suspending face-to-face classes again, citing a study that showed this had a negative impact on students.


“School suspension will have a very big impact on students especially those from the grass-roots background as they are denied face-to-face learning. I won’t take this decision lightly,” she said.

For schools, she said the initial phase of the vaccine bubble will cover only teachers and staff but not students, to avoid introducing too much complexity at the beginning.

Mrs Lam also clarified that Hong Kong’s zero infection target means a “dynamic zero” infection control, citing recent effort of health authorities in containing the spread of the Omicron variant brought in by overseas travelers.


She said that of the 102 Omicron cases detected so far, 97 were imported, and 5 were linked to an imported case.

The spread of the variant in the Moon Palace restaurant in Kowloon Tong was readily contained, with all but six of the 207 people inside the venue being identified or tracked within days and sent to a quarantine centre, Mrs Lam said.


However, she admitted it was too early to say that the city has managed to put the spread of the highly feared variant under control.

“Experts believe that the next two weeks are critical,” she said. “If we can stop the spread, we may prevent a fifth wave.”

Don't Miss