Jab scheme to cover younger people

April 15, 2021

Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip today announced the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme will be expanded to cover people aged 16 to 29 and the community vaccination centres (CVCs) are expected to operate until the end of September.


Mr Nip told reporters that the move was made after taking into account the supply of the vaccines and the programme's operation.


“In regard to the extension of the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme to cover people aged between 16 to 29, we monitor closely the operation of the vaccination programme, and also the demand and supply in a gradual manner.


“We have the capacity to expand the coverage of the vaccination scheme. And we have also received views that quite a number of people aged below 30 would like to get the jabs so that they can protect their family members or the whole family could get vaccinated. So it's the appropriate time that we introduce this arrangement.”


He noted that the minimum age for receiving the BioNTech vaccine is 16 and that for receiving the Sinovac vaccine is 18.


Citizens aged 16 to 29 can make reservations starting from 9am on April 23 through the online booking system to receive vaccines at 29 CVCs and 18 general out-patient clinics of the Hospital Authority (HA).


They can also make appointments for vaccinations with private doctors or clinics participating in the programme.


On the planning for operating the CVCs until the end of September, Mr Nip said the Government has considered the BioNTech vaccine supply, the vaccination rate and the jab’s storage limitations.


“We have purchased 7.5 million doses of the BioNTech vaccine and they will be delivered to Hong Kong by batches. And there is a certain limit, for example, within three to four months, that you have to use the vaccines.


“And also we look at the capacity of our CVCs. We are able to handle 7.5 million doses in the next five months. So that's roughly about the limited period. So we have to have some sort of a plan and let the public know early, so that we can all plan accordingly.


“At this stage, of course I do not want to see any wastage of the BioNTech vaccine and that's why I announced our plan early and urge the public to get vaccinated and make their booking as early as possible.”


He said people wishing to receive the BioNTech vaccine have to get the first dose by the end of August to complete the vaccination of two doses by the end of September.


The CVCs which administer the Sinovac vaccine are also expected to operate up to the end of September.


As the Sinovac vaccine can be stored for a longer period, the Government will continue to provide Sinovac vaccination services through more than 1,600 private doctors participating in the programme and the 18 general out-patient clinics of the HA.


Meanwhile, he announced that three CVCs currently administering the Sinovac vaccine will switch to provide BioNTech jabs.


The CVCs at Tseung Kwan O Sports Centre and Yau Oi Sports Centre in Tuen Mun will provide BioNTech vaccination services starting from April 20.


The CVC at Osman Ramju Sadick Memorial Sports Centre in Kwai Fong will offer BioNTech vaccination services from May 1.


Members of the public can book the BioNTech vaccination at the three CVCs through the online booking system from 9am on April 16.

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