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Wednesday, Oct 05, 2022

Seasonal influenza vaccination programs for schools and care homes to launch next week

This year’s Seasonal Influenza Vaccination School Outreach and the Residential Care Home Vaccination Programme will be launched on September 29, the Centre for Health Protection announced on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Vaccination Subsidy Scheme and the Government Vaccination Programme will begin on October 6.

Under the school outreach program, outreach teams will provide free seasonal influenza vaccination for schoolchildren in participating schools. The vaccines will be provided by the Department of Health and a subsidy will be provided to the doctors at HK$105 per dose.

So far, around 720 kindergartens, kindergarten-cum-child care centers and child care centers, as well as around 460 primary schools, have signed up for the program.

For those schools not participating in the program, they can invite doctors providing outreach vaccination under the Vaccination Subsidy Scheme to arrange vaccination services at their campus. The subsidy will be HK$260 per dose.

Separately, under the Residential Care Home Vaccination Programme, the Department of Health will provide and deliver vaccines for free to institutions. Visiting medical officers enrolled in the program are invited by institutions to provide vaccination services to eligible recipients. The subsidy will be HK$105 per dose.

The department said in a statement that they are procuring a total of 1,099,000 doses of Inactivated influenza vaccines for the Government Vaccination Programme, and 282,000 doses of Inactivated influenza vaccines along with 24,000 doses of nasal vaccines for school outreach programs in the new season.

A department spokesman said all persons aged 6 months or above, except those with known contraindications, are recommended to receive SIV for personal protection.

“Based on past epidemiological patterns, the winter influenza season usually starts in early January. However, the exact time of arrival cannot be predicted. As it takes about two weeks to develop antibodies, members of the public are advised to receive SIV early for protection against seasonal influenza," the spokesman added.

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