Free influenza and pneumococcal vaccination to start on Wednesday

     With the launch of the Government Vaccination Programme 2017/18 on October 25, the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health today (October 23) reminded eligible persons to receive free seasonal influenza vaccination (SIV) in a timely manner to better protect themselves in the coming winter influenza season and pneumococcal vaccination (PV) to prevent pneumococcal infections.

     The following groups are eligible for SIV in the public sector:
  1. Pregnant women receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) or holding a valid Certificate for Waiver of Medical Charges (Certificate);
  2. Residents of residential care homes (RCHs) for the elderly or the disabled;
  3. Community-living elderly persons aged 65 or above, or CSSA recipients/Certificate holders aged 50 to under 65;
  4. Community-living Disability Allowance recipients or the intellectually disabled in the public health sector or designated institutions;
  5. CSSA recipients or Certificate holders with high-risk conditions aged under 50 attending public clinics;
  6. In-patients of public hospitals with high-risk conditions or paediatric out-patients with high-risk conditions;
  7. Healthcare workers in the public sector, RCHs or other departments;
  8. Children aged 6 months to under 12 years from families receiving CSSA or holding the Certificate; and
  9. Poultry workers, pig farmers or pig-slaughtering industry personnel.

     Groups below are eligible for PV in the public sector:
  1. Community-living elderly persons aged 65 or above with high-risk conditions who are clients of public clinics;
  2. Community-living elderly persons receiving CSSA or holding the Certificate;
  3. Residents of RCHs for the elderly or the disabled (elderly residents); and
  4. Elderly in-patients of public hospitals with high-risk conditions or in designated units.

     "We urge eligible persons to get vaccinated before the winter influenza season, which may arrive in early 2018. Vaccination among family members is key to protecting their personal and family's health," a spokesman for the CHP said.

     "While the risk of invasive pneumococcal disease is higher in the elderly, dual vaccinations of SIV and PV can lower the risk of hospitalisation and death," the spokesman added.

     The public may call the CHP's hotline (2125 2125) or visit the CHP's Vaccination Schemes page for more information.

Ends/Monday, October 23, 2017
Issued at HKT 11:30