22nd February 2021 – (Hong Kong) The first batch of CoronaVAC vaccine has been delivered to Hong Kong. The public i.e. the priority group can make an appointment to register for vaccination from Tuesday (23rd).
The Chief Executive, Carrie Lam led SAR officials and members of the Legislative Council to receive the first vaccination at 2.30pm today at Community Vaccination Centre (CVC) run by the Department of Health at the Exhibition Gallery of the Hong Kong Central Library in Causeway Bay.
Lam said, “I and a number of Secretaries of Departments and Directors of Bureaux take the lead to get vaccinated today. We hope that by taking action ourselves, we can serve as an example and encourage members of the public to join the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme. Vaccination is free of charge. We appeal to the public to actively participate in the programme so that Hong Kong can put a stop to the epidemic as early as possible.
“Vaccination is an extremely important anti-epidemic measure. Given the tight supply of vaccines worldwide, the Government has strived to provide COVID-19 vaccines that are in compliance with the safety, efficacy and quality requirements and to arrange for the public to get vaccinated in an orderly manner.
“I am delighted that, with the support of the Central Government, the first batch of one million doses of the Sinovac vaccine arrived in Hong Kong smoothly from Beijing last Friday. People belonging to the five priority groups can be vaccinated from February 26 onwards. They are: persons aged 60 or above (a maximum of two carers who accompany elderly people aged 70 or above can also receive vaccination); personnel in healthcare settings and those participating in anti-epidemic related work; residents and staff of residential care homes for the elderly/persons with disabilities; personnel maintaining critical public services; and personnel performing cross-boundary related work. A batch of the Comirnaty vaccine will be transported to Hong Kong before the end of this month and we would arrange vaccination for the public soon afterwards.
“With COVID-19 raging across the globe, the year-long epidemic has impacted significantly on Hong Kong, no matter in the economic and social aspects or people’s livelihood. In the face of the epidemic, vaccines give us light and hope for winning the battle against the virus. I call on citizens to grasp the opportunity to get vaccinated early and muster our efforts to win over the fight against the virus.”
After the Chief Executive and the officials received the vaccination at the Community Vaccination Centre (CVC) run by the Department of Health at the Exhibition Gallery of the Hong Kong Central Library, some members of the Executive Council and the Legislative Council also received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine there.
Matthew Cheung, Secretary for Administration, Teresa Cheng, Secretary for Justice, Patrick Nip, Secretary for the Civil Service, Dr.Sophia Chan, Secretary for Food and Health, Frank Chan, Secretary for Transport and Housing, John Lee, Secretary for Security, Erick Tsang, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Dr Law Chi-kwong, Secretary for Labour and Welfare were vaccinated consecutively.
Michael Wong Wai-lun, Secretary for Development, Kevin Yeung, Secretary for Education and Alfred Sit, Secretary for Innovation and Technology have completed the vaccination at 2.50pm. Caspar Tsui, Secretary for Home Affairs and Christopher Hui, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury also completed their vaccinations respectively.
All of them received a vaccination record upon completion.
At around 3pm, Carrie Lam said during a media briefing after the vaccination procedure that the government has initiated the vaccination program and she hopes the public will register online tomorrow (for priority groups first) and get vaccinated as soon as possible so that herd immunity can be achieved.
The priority group includes:
1. Healthcare staff and staff involved in anti-epidemic work;
2. Persons aged 60 or above (A maximum of two carers who accompany elderly people aged 70 or above can also receive vaccination);
3. Residents and staff of residential care homes for the elderly and persons with disabilities;
4. People providing essential public services;
5. People providing cross-boundary transportation or working at control points and ports.
There will be four channels of vaccination, namely 29 Community Vaccination Centres (CVCs) in the 18 districts across the territory, over 1,200 private doctors of more than 1,500 clinics participating in the programme, 18 general out-patient clinics of the Hospital Authority (HA), as well as residential care homes for the elderly and for persons with disabilities.
Carrie Lam thanked foreign scientists, local experts on the vaccination panel in Hong Kong, private companies and government departments involved, more than 1,000 government officials and the Mainland government for their relentless support and advice in implementing the vaccination program.
She also said that social distancing measures will not be relaxed so soon and the fact that the vaccination program has started will have no bearing on the relaxation of the measures as it will take a while before herd immunity is achieved.
Members of the public can visit the thematic website, www.covidvaccine.gov.hk, to make reservation for vaccination and to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines.
Meanwhile, 16 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been added today, and the Centre for Health Protection will only hold an epidemic press conference on alternate days.