HONG KONG – The Hong Kong government will provide an additional 100,000 doses of seasonal influenza vaccines (SIV) to meet the public demand as winter flu season approaches.
Priority will be given to high-risk groups who could receive the vaccines through various government vaccination programs, the government said in a press release issued on Friday.
Doctors who have enrolled in the Vaccination Subsidy Scheme but are unable to procure any quadrivalent influenza vaccines in the 2020-21 season are also on the priority list
The additional doses will first be allocated to doctors who have enrolled in the 2020-21 SIV School Outreach (Free of Charge) but are not able to procure sufficient vaccines for students.
Doctors who have enrolled in the Vaccination Subsidy Scheme but are unable to procure any quadrivalent influenza vaccines in the 2020-21 season are also on the priority list.
Non-governmental organizations, private doctors and clinics enrolled in the Vaccination Subsidy Scheme coordinated by the Home Affairs Department will also be among the first to get the vaccines, according to the press release.
Private doctors receiving the vaccines under the allocation arrangement must promise not to charge extra fees when providing vaccinations to eligible people.
The high-risk groups under the Vaccination Subsidy Scheme are Hong Kong residents aged 50 or above, children aged six months to under 12 years, pregnant women and people with intellectual disabilities.
Those who receive the disability allowance under the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme also belong to the high-risk groups.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health has been in touch with the suppliers and noted that a new batch of influenza vaccines of around 85,000 doses would arrive in Hong Kong in mid to late November for supply to the local private healthcare sector.
Regarding media reports of deaths among people who had received flu vaccines in South Korea, the government said no seasonal flu vaccines were produced by Korean suppliers among those registered in Hong Kong. The department added that it would closely monitor the situation.
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