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Vaccination Subsidy Scheme 2019/20 to start on October 9
     With the launch of the Vaccination Subsidy Scheme (VSS) 2019/20 next Wednesday (October 9), the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health (DH) reminded eligible persons to receive a subsidised seasonal influenza vaccination (SIV) in a timely manner to better protect themselves in the winter influenza season.

     The eligible groups are Hong Kong residents who are:
  • Persons aged 50 years or above;
  • Children aged 6 months to under 12 years (or primary school students);
  • Persons with intellectual disabilities;
  • Persons receiving Disability Allowance, regardless of types of disabilities (i.e. physical, mental, intellectual or other conditions); and
  • Pregnant women.
     Eligible groups can receive a subsidised vaccination from enrolled private doctors in their clinics. The subsidy for an SIV under the VSS will be $210 per dose for all eligible groups. Enrolled doctors should display the designated logo near the entrance of their clinics and a pricing poster in the clinic showing their charges. The list of enrolled doctors and their service fees after deducting the government subsidy has been uploaded to the eHealth System (Subsidies) (apps.hcv.gov.hk/SDIR/EN).
     Separately, the "2019/20 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination School Outreach (Free of Charge) - Kindergartens/Kindergarten-cum-Child Care Centres/Child Care Centres (Pilot)" and the "2019/20 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination School Outreach (Free of Charge) - Primary Schools" will start on October 9 and 23 respectively. The Government Outreach Teams or Public-Private-Partnership Teams will reach out to participating schools to provide a free SIV to schoolchildren.
     For eligible children who will not receive an SIV in a school outreach vaccination, parents could arrange a subsidised vaccination for their children in clinics of private doctors enrolled in the VSS.
     A spokesman for the CHP said, "Influenza can cause serious illnesses in high-risk individuals and even healthy persons. Given that influenza vaccines are safe and effective, all persons aged 6 months or above, except those with known contraindications, are recommended to receive SIV for personal protection.
     "Based on past epidemiological patterns, the winter influenza season usually started in early January. However, the exact time of arrival cannot be predicted. As it takes about two weeks to develop antibodies, members of the public are advised to receive an SIV early for protection against seasonal influenza."
     Meanwhile, a subsidised pneumococcal vaccination (PV) for eligible persons will continue to be provided under the VSS to prevent pneumococcal infections. Those aged 65 or above who do not have high-risk conditions will be eligible for one dose of 23-valent polysaccharide pneumococcal vaccination (23vPPV). Elderly persons with high-risk conditions who have not received a PV before will be eligible for one dose of a 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) and one dose of a 23vPPV one year later. The subsidy will be $250 per dose for 23vPPV and $730 per dose for PCV13.
  Members of the public, especially eligible groups, may call the CHP's line (2125 2125) for enquiries during office hours or visit the Vaccination Schemes page for more information.
Ends/Thursday, October 3, 2019
Issued at HKT 18:13
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