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HA gets ready for Government Vaccination Programme

The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     In accordance with the Government's Vaccination Programme for 2012-13, Hospital Authority (HA) out-patient clinics will start providing seasonal influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations to eligible persons on November 1.  

     The HA spokesman today (October 30) said that eligible persons for seasonal influenza vaccination include the following categories of people who attend public out-patient clinics:

1. Paediatric out-patients with chronic medical problems or on long term aspirin therapy;
2. Elderly persons aged 65 or above with chronic medical problems including those who have chronic cardiovascular (except hypertension without complication), pulmonary, obesity (BMI 30 or above), metabolic or renal diseases;
3. Recipients of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) in the following categories:
i Persons with chronic medical problems of all ages;
ii Persons aged 50 or above; and
iii All pregnant women with antenatal appointments in public clinics.

     Poultry workers, pig farmers and people who are involved in poultry-culling operations or the pig-slaughtering industry, as referred by relevant departments, can also receive the seasonal influenza vaccination in 22 designated out-patient clinics from November 15.

     The pneumococcal vaccination will continue to be provided for the elderly this year, including the following categories of eligible persons who attend public out-patients clinics:

1. Elderly aged 65 or above with chronic medical problems and follow-up in public clinic; and
2. Elderly aged 65 or above without known chronic medical problems but on CSSA.

     To assist patients in receiving the vaccination programme at the clinics, the spokesman advises patients to attend the clinics and receive vaccination at the time of their pre-scheduled follow-up appointment within the vaccination period. Patients whose follow-up appointment date falls outside the specified vaccination period should enquire at the clinics and make the necessary arrangements.

     "The above mentioned eligible persons who wish to receive vaccination should attend the out-patient clinics while bringing along relevant documents, including their Government Vaccination Record Card, Hong Kong identity card, HA out-patient clinic appointment slip, CSSA certificate and vaccination authorisation issued by the Government. They will be vaccinated if assessed as clinically suitable by clinic staff," the spokesman said.

     As in previous years, the HA will start its annual seasonal influenza vaccination for long-stay in-patients with chronic diseases in public hospitals from November 1. The programme covers in-patients in infirmary and psychiatric units. Long-stay in-patients aged 65 or above will also be offered the pneumococcal vaccination. The HA will also arrange vaccination for its staff from October 18.

     The HA spokesman stressed that both vaccines are safe. "Protection from seasonal influenza vaccination develops about two weeks after getting a flu shot and may last up to one year. It is usually well tolerated apart from occasional soreness at the injection site. In rare instances, the recipient may experience fever, muscle and joint pains and tiredness after vaccination, lasting up to one to two days.

     "As for the pneumococcal vaccine, protection will be generated within two to three weeks after inoculation. We do not recommend those elderly people who have received pneumococcal vaccination within the last five years to re-vaccinate. The vaccination site may have slight swelling and pain for a short time after injection.

     "People who have flu symptoms, fever or are severely ill at the time of vaccination should defer the vaccination and wait until they have recovered. Patients can enquire at the respective specialist or general out-patient clinics where they normally attend, or can make a general enquiry on the HA hotline 2300 6555 during office hours," the spokesman said.

     The HA will promote the vaccination programme through various channels including the display of notices (annex) in prominent places at public hospitals, specialist out-patient clinics and general out-patient clinics.

Ends/Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Issued at HKT 16:49


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