The government’s new Home Vaccination Services programme opened for registration on Tuesday, in an effort to further boost the city’s Covid-19 vaccination rate.

The latest outreach programme targets unvaccinated elderly people aged 70 or above, people with a disability, and those with chronic illnesses incapable of going out to get jabbed. Eligible residents can register online via the designated website or by phone (5688-5234), which operates from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

home vaccination services website
The government’s designated website for Home Vaccination Services. Photo: Screenshot

The 8-week outreach service will begin next Tuesday, with the team serving four to five districts each week. Only the China-made Sinovac vaccines will be provided in the initial phase of the programme. However, requests for the German-developed BioNTech jab “will be noted and entertained if possible,” according to Secretary for Civil Service Patrick Nip – who oversees the city’s vaccination drive – speaking on an RTHK radio programme on Tuesday.

Nip said the government opted out of providing BioNTech doses because of the need of dilution and more complicated logistical arrangements, but that authorities are willing to offer it according to demand.

‘Vaccines seek people

“We hope to achieve the goal of ‘vaccines seek people’,” said Nip. He added that the Social Welfare Bureau, the Department of Health and the Hospital Authority will also make “proactive” moves to call up social welfare recipients and unvaccinated patients to encourage them to get jabbed.

an elderly man receiving Covid-19 vaccination at home.
An elderly man received Covid-19 vaccination at home. Photo: HK Gov

Nip also said the vaccination rate among children aged three to 11 hit a “bottleneck” at 60 per cent. He added that the Education Bureau will reach out to schools to arrange outreach vaccination services to push the number up.

The government has launched several outreach vaccination initiatives covering elderly homes, care homes for the people with disabilities and schools. During this year’s Omicron crisis, the city saw the highest death rate in the world largely due to the poor vaccination rate among the elderly.

The city has reported a total of 1,198,438 Covid-19 infections and 9,159 deaths as of Monday.

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Almond Li is a Hong Kong-based journalist who previously worked for Reuters and Happs TV as a freelancer, and as a reporter at Hong Kong International Business Channel, Citizen News and Commercial Radio Hong Kong. She earned her Masters in Journalism at the University of Southern California. She has an interest in LGBT+, mental health and environmental issues.