'Vaccinations can start as early as next week' - RTHK
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'Vaccinations can start as early as next week'

2021-02-18 HKT 11:28
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  • 'Vaccinations can start as early as next week'
Medical groups and doctors who will help with the government's Covid-19 vaccination drive say officials have told them that the inoculations could begin as early as next week.

Hong Kong's first one million doses of a vaccine made by mainland firm Sinovac are expected to arrive in the city on Friday, while jabs made by German firm BioNTech are due to arrive next week.

Speaking on RTHK's Hong Kong Today, Dr David Lam from Medical Conscience – which will run a vaccination centre in Wan Chai – said inoculations will probably begin at the end of February or in early March.

It's understood that more than 20 vaccination centres are to be set up across the city and will open in phases, and Lam said several hundred medical staff will be needed to run each one.

Only one type of vaccine will be available at each site, and Lam said his centre should be providing the BioNTech jabs.

He said people need to make appointments in advance to receive the two doses needed.

"When they arrive at the vaccination centre, they first go to the reception where they confirm the vaccination appointment, and then they receive a leaflet explaining the pros and cons and the details of the vaccine. Then they go to the waiting area where they will watch a video and read the materials, and if they have any questions, they can ask the doctors and nurses on site," he said.

"After that, they proceed to the vaccination booths ... The nurse there will confirm the patient's identity, make sure that he or she has the informed consent for vaccine, and then give him or her the vaccination. Then they will give the recipient a record of vaccination. The person proceeds to the resting area, where he or she will rest for at least 15 minutes under medical observation."

Lam said people should bring documents to prove that they belong to a priority group for the jabs, such as elderly people and medical workers.

Meanwhile, the head of the Hong Kong Doctors' Union, Dr Henry Yeung, said around a thousand private clinics have signed up to help with the vaccination programme.

Speaking on another RTHK radio show, Yeung said private clinics will offer the Sinovac vaccine to the public, because it is easier to store than the BioNTech jab, which must be kept at an ultra-low temperature.

He said he believes the clinics have enough staff and experience to handle the inoculations, adding that authorities will also provide clinics with emergency medicine for anyone who experiences severe side effects.