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HA commences Government Vaccination Programme this Wednesday
The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     Public hospitals and out-patient clinics of the Hospital Authority (HA) will start providing seasonal influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations in phases to eligible persons this Wednesday (October 25) to dovetail with the Government Vaccination Programme (GVP) for 2017/18.

     The HA spokesperson today (October 23) reminded members of the public that the seasonal influenza vaccination programme this year will be carried out in two phases. In the first phase the HA will provide influenza vaccination to eligible patients of public hospitals and out-patient clinics. The second phase will commence on November 6 to cover elderly members of the community aged 65 or above.

     "We will arrange influenza vaccination for our patients in the first phase in order to enhance their immunity against influenza, reducing their risk of infection during the influenza season, and thus reducing the healthcare service demand in public hospitals during the period," the spokesperson said.

     "Poultry workers, pig farmers and people who are involved in poultry culling operation or pig-slaughtering industry, as referred by relevant government departments, can also receive seasonal influenza vaccination in 22 designated General Outpatient Clinics (GOPCs) from November 13 onwards."

     Eligible patients with regular follow-up at Specialist Outpatient Clinics (SOPCs) or GOPCs are advised to receive vaccination at the time of their pre-scheduled follow-up appointments within the vaccination period. Patients whose follow-up appointment date falls outside the specified vaccination period should enquire at the clinics for necessary arrangement.

     In addition, the HA will start providing seasonal influenza vaccinations for hospitalised patients with high-risk conditions, such as inpatients of infirmary, psychogeriatric, mentally-ill and mentally-handicapped unit/wards from October 25. The HA has also started to provide flu vaccination for staff on a voluntary basis from October 11.

     "Regarding the arrangement for pneumococcal vaccination, the HA will dovetail with the GVP and provide pneumococcal vaccination to eligible elderly people under the programme in phases," the spokesperson said.

     "Eligible persons who wish to receive seasonal influenza and pneumococcal vaccinations should attend the out-patient clinics while bringing along relevant documents. They will receive vaccinations if assessed as clinically suitable by clinical staff."
     The spokesperson stressed that both the seasonal and pneumococcal vaccines are safe. Protection from seasonal influenza vaccination will develop within about two to four weeks after being received, and may last at least six months. It is usually well tolerated apart from occasional soreness at the injection site. Some people may have fever, muscle and joint pains, or tiredness after vaccination, lasting for one to two days. As for the pneumococcal vaccine, protection will be generated within two to three weeks after inoculation. 

     "Anyone having influenza symptoms, fever or severe illness should defer the vaccination until they have recovered," the spokesperson added.

     Members of the public can refer to the attached posters for detailed arrangements of both the seasonal influenza and pneumococcal vaccination programmes. The public can also enquire at the respective specialist clinics or GOPCs where they are attending or call the HA hotline 2300 6555 during office hours or visit the following website: www.ha.org.hk/goto/GVP201718/EN for detailed information.

     The HA has been promoting the vaccination programme through different channels, including the display of notices at prominent places of public hospitals and out-patient clinics.
Ends/Monday, October 23, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:10
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