An elderly woman receives the Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine at a community vaccination center in Hong Kong on Feb 23, 2021 as frontline workers and high-risk people are the first in line to be vaccinated in the territory. (PETER PARKS / POOL / AFP)
HONG KONG - The Hong Kong government has simplified the message in the current round of the outreach vaccination program in a bid to boost the vaccination rate among the elderly.
Speaking after attending a radio program on Saturday, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong admitted that the vaccination rate in the first round of the Outreach Vaccination Arrangement for Residential Care Homes was low due to the lack of information for the elderly.
Labor chief Law Chi-kwong said simpler information is being provided in the second round of the outreach vacciantion service to help the elderly make decisions, adding that people who have been receiving the seasonal influenza vaccination can take the COVID-19 vaccine
“We started the first round (of the outreach vaccination arrangement) a couple of months ago, but at that time because of the lack of information and difficulty in making decisions, the vaccination rate was a bit too low,” Law said.
He said simpler information is being provided in the second round of the service to help the elderly make decisions, adding that elderly people who have been receiving the seasonal influenza vaccination can take the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We have just started another round, providing more information, simpler information, telling people that if they have been receiving the seasonal influenza vaccination, now they can (have a) COVID-19 vaccine,” Law said.
“We hope that the simplified message would help people to make up their mind (about COVID-19) vaccination.”
Around 25 percent of Hong Kong residents aged 60 and above have been inoculated, Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip Tak-kuen said on Sunday.
As of Friday night, more than 5.14 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to the public. Around 2.16 million people have been fully vaccinated, accounting for 31.8 percent of the eligible population in Hong Kong.
A total of 70,600 coronavirus vaccine shots were administered on Friday, a record since the territory’s vaccine rollout started on Feb 26.
Law was also asked to elaborate on his earlier comments that the labor market should improve further.
“Looking at all the indicators, including economic indicators and our labor market situation, such as jobs available, people looking for jobs, etc, the trend is definitely telling us that it is going down, in terms of the unemployment rate,” he said.
“But how fast it will go down is something that we cannot really predict, but the trend is going down.”
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