The government expects to roll out its city-wide voluntary vaccination scheme as early as next month, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan announced to the Legislative Council on Wednesday. The scheme will proceed in phases, with community vaccination centres to be situated in 18 districts across the city.
The first type of vaccination to be made available are the German-developed BioNTech doses which were acquired by Fosun Pharma, a Shanghai-based pharmaceutical company, last month.
“The Government will set up Community Vaccination Centres in 18 districts to ensure the quality of the vaccines and that the vaccination procedures adhere to requirements,” a government statement read.
The health secretary said the government aimed to provide a “majority of the population” with a vaccination within 2021, according to the statement.
Chan added that the scheme will prioritise individuals who fall into “priority groups,” including those who have a higher risk of coming into contact with the virus such as medical frontline workers and those more vulnerable to succumb to the virus such as the elderly.
Those who receive the jab will be provided with a vaccination record, which may be uploaded onto a shared Electronic Health Record Sharing System.
The government confirmed it had acquired enough vaccination doses for the entire population from suppliers of three different types of vaccines last month. The other two types — Oxford-AstraZeneca and SinoVac — will be made available to members of the public through private hospitals and clinics at a later stage.
Under Secretary for Food and Health Chui Tak-yi said on Thursday the government will continue to monitor other types of vaccines available internationally and their relevant efficacy rates.
Hong Kong reported 29 new infections on Thursday, 26 of which were locally-transmitted. The city has seen a total of 9,415, with 161 deaths.