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Published: 14:54, April 13, 2022
A vaccination center in HK runs like clockwork
By Kapila Bandara
Published:14:54, April 13, 2022 By Kapila Bandara

This photo shows residents lining up to take their COVID-19 vaccine shot at the Sai Wan Ho Sports Centre on Jan 4, 2022. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)

As soon as the doors open at 8:30 am, dozens walk in nearly every minute at the Sai Wan Ho Community Vaccination Centre, one of the two such facilities in the Eastern District.

Residents come in after making online bookings for the BioNTech vaccine, which many Hong Kong residents choose.

On three visits at various times on three separate days, it became evident that the COVID-19 inoculation process runs smoothly at the site operated by the Humanity & Health Medical Group on the second floor of the Sai Wan Ho Sports Centre.

No one appeared to be restless for want of guidance and assistance, except for one elderly man who had walked in on a date that did not match his online booking. A female employee patiently explained to him that his booking was for three days later

No one appeared to be restless for want of guidance and assistance, except for one elderly man who had walked in on a date that did not match his online booking. A female employee patiently explained to him that his booking was for three days later.

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From the time a person walks in the center to the time when one leaves takes less than a half-hour, even with the 15-minute wait required after vaccination to watch for any immediate side effects or adverse reactions.

Dr George Lau, chairman of the Humanity and Health Medical Group, told China Daily Hong Kong that, between Jan 1 and March 15, an average of 2,500 people were vaccinated daily. This process involved at least 25 medical employees, including nurses, healthcare assistants, pharmacists, and physicians.

“From March 15 onwards, the daily average was 800 to 900, involving at least 10 medical staff per day,” said Lau, a specialist in gastroenterology and hepatology.

When told of the efficient and smooth inoculation process, Lau said good teamwork between the Hong Kong government’s administrative staff and the center’s medical staff is critical.

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“The administrative staff will check whether the people are at the correct center for their intended brand of vaccine, directing (them) to available vaccination booths,” Lau said.

“Briefing the people by medical staff regarding the contraindications and side effects of vaccination at the information zone is also crucial, as this will alleviate many anxieties, and smoothen the inoculation process at the booth. Efficient staggering of break time for medical staff will raise staff morale without interrupting the process.”

He said that from Dec 30, 2020, when the center began operating, to March 30, “more than 150,000 people have received either the first dose or two doses of BioNTech vaccines at Sai Wan Ho CVC.”

During one visit to the center, six employees were available to check identification. Registration officers guided people to the waiting area before inoculation, asked about potential allergies, and checked whether the person is in for the first dose, the second jab, or a booster shot.

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The vaccination booths are set up at the edge of a basketball court. Hundreds of numbered chairs are laid out in separate sections for those waiting for inoculation and for those who are asked to wait at least 15 minutes after the vaccination.

One steady hand at the center is a considerate and confident registered nurse who had retired a couple of years ago. She is methodical, and her maturity and experience is reflected in the way she handles the inoculation process.

She said she inoculates about 100 people a day, from 8 am to 8 pm.

The male nurses kept the curtains parted for the times when women walked in, either alone or with their caretakers. The men, too, would take less than a minute to complete an inoculation.

READ MORE: HK reports decrease with 1,921 new COVID-19 cases, 65 deaths

Asked about the time spent for inoculations, Lau said: “We will advise the staff to follow the Department of Health guidelines regarding the time and intervals of vaccinations.”

Medical supplies continue to be replenished at the center.

“The Department of Heath will regularly monitor the vaccine stock at Sai Wan Ho CVC, and the CVC administrative staff will ensure syringes and related medical materials are sufficient. That is why good teamwork between CVC administrative staff of the government and CVC medical staff is critical,” Lau said.


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