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Wednesday, Dec 01, 2021

Vaccine jabs now option during long hospital waits for doctors

Vaccine jabs now option during long hospital waits for doctors

Patients can now get Covid-19 jabs when they have follow-up appointments at three public hospitals - Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and Tuen Mun in a widening of the vaccination drive starting yesterday.
People can get the BioNTech vaccination without a booking when they have follow-up medical consultations. The vaccination stations will open 10am to 7pm on weekdays except public holidays.

People can then get their second dose at the same location or another community vaccination center.

Those wanting the Sinovac vaccine will be referred to a nearby community vaccination center.

Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip Tak-kuen said yesterday the arrangement is aimed at facilitating vaccinations for the elderly.

That came as Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said the administration would not rush to add more quarantine rooms at Penny's Bay for incoming domestic helpers.

Bookings for the Penny's Bay center reopens Monday, and another 200 units will be provided for helpers undergoing the 21-day quarantine, bringing room numbers to 1,000 from October 22.

Law told lawmakers if the government rushed to add more quarantine units for helpers, there would be an influx of Covid-19 cases, triggering a flight suspension mechanism and making it impossible for helpers to come.

He said around 4 percent of all Filipino domestic helpers were diagnosed with Covid-19 when they arrived. Law said he does not want to cause dissatisfaction among the employers and said that the government will continuously assess the situation.

Cheung Kit-man, chairman of the Hong Kong Employment Industry Association, said Penny's Bay cannot meet demand from all helpers waiting to come to Hong Kong.

He also said there had been little improvement in booking arrangements as employers still needed to compete for slots online every week.

Cheung suggested the government extend the booking period to three weeks or a month to make it more convenient for employers and agencies.

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