One hundred and fifty bookings were made for Covid-19 vaccines for children aged between six months old and three years old within half an hour of registration opening, a government official has announced.

Thursday was the first day that children as young as six months could receive a Sinovac Covid-19 jab. The government is in talks to obtain the “baby version” of the BioNTech vaccine – one-tenth of the adult dosage – from the pharmaceutical company.

Ingrid Yeung
Secretary for the Civil Service Ingrid Yeung talking to the press after inspecting May Nga Nursery on August 4, 2022. Photo: RTHK, via video screenshot.

Speaking to reporters outside a nursery on Thursday morning, Secretary for the Civil Service Ingrid Yeung said that the booths at some community vaccination centres had been “transformed,” and were decorated with cartoons and toys to make them more appealing to young children.

Some “special partitions” have also been put in place to allow caregivers to change diapers and for mothers to breastfeed, Yeung said.

Maternal and Child Health Centres run by the Department of Health will also begin providing vaccinations from mid-August for children receiving regular services, such as check-ups and other vaccinations.

As of Wednesday, 6,770,348 eligible people have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, while 6,521,527 people were fully vaccinated, and 4,610,691 have had a booster shot.

Hong Kong has recorded 1,366,918 Covid-19 infections and 9,524 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic over two years ago.

Children Covid-19
Mrs. Chan and her son, who just received a Sinovac Covid-19 jab, on August 4, 2022. Photo: RTHK, via video screenshot.

Mrs. Chan, whose 2-year-old received a Sinovac jab on Thursday morning, told reporters that she had decided to get her son vaccinated after seeing that a 22-month-old girl had died after contracting Covid-19.

“Because he attends full-day classes, and has to take public transport often, and will play with other children in the kindergarten,” Mrs. Chan said.

Adjusted taxi service time

Designated taxis taking incoming travellers from the airport to their quarantine hotels started provided services an hour earlier at 7 a.m. on Thursday. The fleet will run from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.. 

“The operation has been generally smooth since the service commencement. There are currently 100 taxis providing services on a trial basis,” a government spokesperson said in a statement published on Wednesday.

“In view of the increasing number of inbound persons, the Government has decided to advance the start of operating hours from 8am to 7am daily to cope with the demand.”

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.