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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Patrick Nip wants 80 pc vaccine rate for mainland and international borders reopening

Patrick Nip wants 80 pc vaccine rate for mainland and international borders reopening

Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip Tak-kuen said the vaccination rate of the city has to reach 80 percent or above for mainland and international borders reopening.
Speaking on a radio program on Saturday, Nip said with the appearance of the new Covid variant Omicron, there is still a long way before the pandemic comes to an end. He added that vaccination is a crucial measure for citizens to have their normal lives back.

He added 70.2 percent of the population have received the first dose of the Covid vaccine, which is only a short-term goal. He believed an 80 percent or above vaccination rate is necessary for Hong Kong to reopen mainland borders and reopen international borders later.

Nip noted that vaccination vehicles will travel to public housing estates and schools next Friday (Dec 3) to boost the vaccination rate.

The vehicles will first head to Sun Chui Estate in Tai Wai and then Lok Wah South Estate for the elderly to receive the BioNTech vaccine. The measure will later cover schools so that students can also get the jabs.

Nip cited data that the vaccination rate of elderly people aged 80 or above stood at only 17 percent and hoped the measure could help the elderly access the vaccine.

Starting next Thursday (Dec 2), students aged 12 to 17 can receive the Sinovac vaccine.

On another note, Nip said the idea of a vaccine passport must be explored, and the government would announce more details in due course.

He said the city must acknowledge that a 70 percent vaccination rate is not enough. It is normal for restaurants to set up two zones to serve vaccinated and unvaccinated citizens separately.

"If citizens will get the jabs themselves without being asked, the vaccination requirement won't be a problem. If they choose not to get the jabs because of non-medical reasons and it ends up affecting others, others will have to pay for that," Nip added.

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