Enhancement in Home Vaccination Service to administer fifth dose of COVID-19 vaccine to elderly
Meanwhile, from December 28 onwards, persons receiving vaccination through the HVS can have options of vaccines to choose from. Apart from choosing the Sinovac vaccine as any dose of COVID-19 vaccination, now they can also opt for the BioNTech ancestral strain vaccine as any of their doses or the BioNTech bivalent vaccine as their third to fifth dose.
The Secretary for the Civil Service, Mrs Ingrid Yeung, said, "The Government has long been encouraging the elderly to get vaccinated through various channels. Since the launch of the HVS, over 55 000 vaccine doses have been administered to elderly persons aged 70 or above and persons who have difficulties to go out for vaccination due to illness or disability across the territory. As the elderly are subject to higher health risks after COVID-19 infection, the Government expands the HVS to cover administration of the fifth dose of vaccine in the hope of providing more convenience to eligible elders."
To enhance service flexibility and efficiency, the Government has commissioned and assigned medical organisations for each and every district to provide through-train services since mid-August, from making phone calls for arranging appointments to providing door-to-door vaccination service, all to be handled directly by the same medical organisation.
As the due date for vaccination varies for each service user, different doses and types of vaccine may be administered to service users each day. Coupled with the scattered places of residence, the medical teams may take a longer time to arrange the outreach vaccination service. Each vial of the BioNTech bivalent vaccine has to be withdrawn into six syringes in advance, and the vaccine doses can only be kept under a specified range of temperature for not more than 12 hours. The BioNTech ancestral strain vaccine vials have to undergo specified dilution procedures before being withdrawn into syringes and the storage time of the vaccine doses is much shorter - not more than six hours. To minimise vaccine wastage, the medical teams have to gather people who opt for these two types of vaccine and arrange same-day vaccination for each type of vaccine recipients as far as possible. As such, the service users may not be able to receive vaccination immediately on their due date for their next dose. The medical teams will make an effort to straighten out the vaccination arrangement in a bid to help persons in need to get vaccinated at their homes as early as possible while keeping vaccine wastage to a minimum.
Please refer to the information by the Department of Health on the details of different types of vaccine: www.covidvaccine.gov.hk/pdf/Poster_recommend_third_dose.pdf.
For users of the HVS, the medical organisations will contact them when they are due for their next dose and let the eligible persons choose the type of vaccine to be administered as well as arrange an appointment for door-to-door vaccination service.
Unvaccinated elderly persons and persons with impaired mobility are welcome to contact the HVS and register for the service via the HVS website (www.covidvaccine.gov.hk/hv/) or by phone at 5688 5234 between 9am and 6pm from Monday to Friday (except public holidays).
Meanwhile, to enable people of different ages to receive vaccination, the Government has set up COVID-19 vaccination venues at locations with convenient transportation or high patronage in different districts, and is providing vaccination service with more than one kind of vaccine at one vaccination venue to allow options for members of the public. The Yuen Long Community Vaccination Station, which commenced service today, is one of them.
Members of the public can receive vaccination through different channels. Apart from Private Clinic COVID-19 Vaccination Stations and COVID-19 Vaccination Stations in public hospitals, designated general outpatient clinics of the Hospital Authority, Elderly Health Centres, Student Health Service Centres and Maternal and Child Health Centres of the Department of Health, together with some 1 000 private doctors providing COVID-19 vaccination service, also provide the vaccination service.
The designated website for the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme (www.covidvaccine.gov.hk/en/programme) provides the latest information including details on vaccination venues, reservation and enquiry hotlines.
Ends/Friday, December 16, 2022
Issued at HKT 14:00
Issued at HKT 14:00