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Hong Kong expands vaccination drive to under 30s

2021-04-15 HKT 15:31
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  • Hong Kong expands vaccination drive to under 30s
Hong Kong’s Covid-19 vaccination programme will be expanded to include residents aged 16 to 30, with bookings starting from April 23, the government announced on Thursday.

Sixteen and 17-year-olds will be allowed to get the German-made BioNTech vaccine, while the Sinovac jab will only be available for people aged 18 and above.

At the moment, the vaccines are available for everyone aged 30 and over.

Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip, who is heading the government’s inoculation drive, also revealed that vaccination centres offering BioNTech jabs will cease operating at the end of September.

People opting for this more effective jab will need to get their first shots by the end of August.

He explained that the BioNTech doses the government has purchased expire after four months.

Nip added that three vaccination centres currently administering Sinovac vaccines, in Tseung Kwan O, Tuen Mun and Tsuen Wan, will switch to offering BioNTech shots later this month.

The lowering of the age requirement means another 1.08 million people will be eligible to get a coronavirus vaccine and the programme will cover 88 percent of the population, the secretary said.

“We have the capacity to expand the coverage of the vaccination scheme. We’ve also received views that quite a number of people aged below 30 would like to get the jabs so they can protect their family members or the whole families could get vaccinated. So it’s the appropriate time that we introduce this arrangement,” he said.

Sixteen and 17-year-olds will need to show a parental consent form to be given a jab, with a template for the form available from the booking website.