Government announces transitional arrangements for holders of Medical Exemption Certificates during period before vaccination requirements under Vaccine Pass are met
The Government announced on September 8 the adjusted Vaccine Pass arrangements that, starting from November 30, persons aged 12 or above are in general required to have received the third dose (second dose for persons aged 5 to 11) so as to meet the vaccination requirements under the Vaccine Pass. For individuals who were previously unfit for vaccination due to genuine medical reasons and hold a Medical Exemption Certificate, if they were considered fit for vaccination after subsequent assessment by a medical practitioner and have started the vaccination course, they may have to wait up to six months before completing the three doses and not be able to fulfil the vaccination requirement under the Vaccine Pass within the validity period of the Medical Exemption Certificate.
Considering that there may be a practical need for the persons concerned to continue to enter the relevant premises, the Government will issue a Transitional Vaccine Pass to persons who are currently holding or have previously held a Medical Exemption Certificate and have started the vaccination course, so that they can enter Vaccine Pass applicable premises during the period when they are waiting to receive the next dose but have not yet met the vaccination requirement under the Vaccine Pass. The Transitional Vaccine Pass will be valid until the recommended vaccination date for the next dose of vaccine.
Holders of Medical Exemption Certificates who are ready to start the vaccination course
Starting from November 22, relevant citizens can bring along their Medical Exemption Certificates with an encrypted QR code (including valid, expired or invalid Medical Exemption Certificates) to the Community Vaccination Centres (excluding Private Clinic COVID-19 Vaccination Stations), Community Vaccination Stations, Hospital COVID-19 Vaccination Stations or selected general outpatient clinics (GOPCs) of the Hospital Authority (HA) or designated clinics of the Department of Health (DH) to receive the first or second dose of vaccine. Upon vaccination, they will be issued a Transitional Vaccine Pass. If the first dose is to be received, the validity period of the Transitional Vaccine Pass will start from the date of vaccination until the recommended vaccination date of the second dose whereas for the second dose, the validity period will start from the date of vaccination until the recommended vaccination date of the third dose.
Holders of Medical Exemption Certificates who have already started the vaccination course
For holders of Medical Exemption Certificates who have received the first or second dose before November 22 but yet to receive the next dose, they can bring along their Medical Exemption Certificates with an encrypted QR code (including valid, expired or invalid Medical Exemption Certificates) and the vaccination records to the following locations to obtain a Transitional Vaccine Pass starting from November 22. The Transitional Vaccine Pass will be valid from the date of receiving the last dose (i.e. the first or second dose, whichever is later) to the recommended date of receiving the next dose.
|Vaccination locations/channels of the last dose||Locations to obtain a Transitional Vaccine Pass|
||Any of the:
|Designated clinics of the DH||The same designated clinic of the DH|
|Selected GOPCs of the HA||The same selected GOPC of the HA|
In order to scan and store the QR code on the Transitional Vaccine Pass for entering relevant premises, holders of Medical Exemption Certificates will need to update the "LeaveHomeSafe" mobile application to the latest version 3.5.2 (or above). The Government has also updated the QR Code Verification Scanner mobile application to version 4.4.5 to assist persons-in-charge of the active checking premises to identify the newly added Transitional Vaccination Pass QR code. The Government reminds persons-in-charge of the active checking premises to update to the latest version of the QR Code Verification Scanner mobile application before November 22.
Please refer to the thematic website of the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme for the recommended intervals between doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
A Government spokesman reiterated that according to overseas and local experience, a person's state of being unfit for COVID-19 vaccination is usually temporary, and most people are suitable to receive the CoronaVac and Comirnaty vaccines currently available in Hong Kong. Holders of Medical Exemption Certificates and have not received the recommended dosage of vaccine are not sufficiently protected. They will face higher health risks when entering premises with higher risks of infection (including catering premises involving mask-off activities and premises with group gatherings and higher risks of infection). The Government strongly appeals to holders of Medical Exemption Certificates to get vaccinated as soon as their physical condition permits, and there is no need for them to wait for the expiry of the Medical Exemption Certificates. They may consult a doctor when necessary.
The spokesman also reminded that the vaccination requirements for persons aged 12 or above and those aged 5 to 11 under the Vaccine Pass will be adjusted to having received three doses and two doses respectively in general starting from November 30. Members of the public should get vaccinated in a timely manner, such that they can receive better protection for themselves and continue to enter Vaccine Pass applicable premises.
Ends/Thursday, November 17, 2022
Issued at HKT 17:42
Issued at HKT 17:42