People stand in line outside a community vaccination center administering the BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine imported by Fosun Pharma in Hong Kong, China, March 17, 2021. (PHOTO / BLOOMBERG)
HONG KONG – Twenty-six community vaccination centers (CVC) under Hong Kong's COVID-19 Vaccination Programme will extend operation for one month to cater to the increased demand as 50 percent of the eligible population in the city have received the first shot, the government announced on Friday.
As of Thursday evening, some 3.40 million people have received the first COVID-19 jab in Hong Kong, accounting for 50 percent of the eligible population, according to official data.
Some 2.58 million people have been fully vaccinated with two doses, representing 38 percent of those eligible.
The government said the demand for vaccine doses has been on the rise and predicted the share of people getting at least one jab will hopefully hit 70 percent by the end of September as long as the vaccine rollout maintains its current pace
In a statement issued on Friday, the government said the 26 CVCs will continue to provide vaccination services for the first dose in September and the second dose in October.
The government said the demand for vaccine doses has been on the rise and predicted the share of people getting at least one jab will hopefully hit 70 percent by the end of September as long as the vaccine rollout maintains its current pace.
“In view of the demand for vaccination and the vaccination progress, the government has decided to extend the operation of CVCs until Oct 31.”
The government appealed to members of the public to seize the opportunity to get vaccinated so as to help build an immune barrier in Hong Kong as soon as possible.
At the same time, the CVC at the Hong Kong Central Library in Causeway Bay will be relocated to Java Road Sports Centre on Oct 1. It will be renamed as the CVC at Java Road Sports Centre and continue to provide Sinovac vaccination service.
In view of the low utilization rates of the CVCs at Queen Elizabeth Stadium and Hong Kong International Airport, the government said first-dose vaccination services at these two CVCs will be maintained in August and second-dose vaccination in September.
The latest shipment of about 956,000 doses of the BioNTech vaccine filled at a plant in Baxter, Germany, arrived in Hong Kong on Friday
The two CVCs will close at the end of September.
The CVC at Ap Lei Chau Sports Centre, meanwhile, will operate until the end of September and will be merged with the CVC at Gleneagles Hospital Hong Kong in the same district from Oct 1.
Also on Friday, the latest shipment of about 956,000 doses of the BioNTech vaccine filled at a plant in Baxter, Germany, arrived in Hong Kong as arranged by Fosun Pharma.
Soon after the arrival of the latest batch of the vaccine, government staff carried out stringent checking and inspection of the vaccine in accordance with established procedures.
"The government will put the vaccine in validated ultra-low temperature freezers to ensure its proper storage in accordance with the temperature specified by the drug manufacturer," the government said.
The labels of these vaccine vials contain English and simplified Chinese, it added.
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