Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor yesterday rubbished claims her administration is planning to extend the vaccine pass arrangement to cover entry to accident and emergency departments and clinics at hospitals.
Although the system is aimed at encouraging vaccinations, that, she said, must be balanced with people's need for essential services such as A&E access and follow-up consultations at general outpatient clinics.
"People who visit the emergency rooms at hospitals and clinics have emergency needs. Therefore, we don't have plans to impose vaccination requirements on patients at these places at the moment. However, staff of hospitals and clinics have to be vaccinated to be allowed entry," Lam said.
Government expert Yuen Kwok-yung backed her stance but said jabs are needed for public transport, schools, eateries and other public premises.
That came as the Social Welfare Department said it is discussing with medical groups the formation of an outreach team in double quick time to provide BioNTech
jabs for elderly in care homes, with the present outreach option only being Sinovac.
It also came on the eve of the opening of a new community vaccination center on Caroline Hill Road for BioNTech
jabs at 9am today for those aged 12 or above. Also getting aboard with BioNTech
is the MTR Tsing Yi Station community vaccination center from March 29. It will concurrently provide Sinovac jabs to a small number of people up to April 21.
The Hospital Authority said 15,000 Covid
patients have been given the two new Covid
oral drugs - Paxlovid by Pfizer
and Molnupiravir by MSD.