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Flu jab booking set

Community vaccination centres (CVCs) in various districts will offer free seasonal influenza vaccination (SIV) to Hong Kong residents aged 50 or above when they are there for COVID-19 vaccination starting from October 6.   The Government announced today that eligible people can make reservations for receiving both COVID-19 vaccination and SIV through the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme booking system starting from 9am tomorrow.   They may also choose to receive the free SIV on site when they are receiving the COVID-19 jab starting from October 6.   Given that local seasonal influenza activity has been staying at low levels since February 2020, the overall immunity against influenza in the community is at present relatively low, the Government noted.   As the winter flu season is approaching, citizens are strongly urged to complete the recommended dosage of COVID-19 vaccines and the latest seasonal influenza vaccine as early as possible to obtain better protection in the event of

Govt preparing for electric ferries

The Government is preparing for testing the operation of electric ferries in four in-harbour ferry routes and an electric ferries pilot scheme is expected to start in 2023.   Secretary for the Environment KS Wong made the statement in response to lawmakers' questions in the Legislative Council today.   He noted that to further promote the use of green transportation technologies in ferries, the Government has earmarked $350 million in the last fiscal year to launch a pilot scheme for electric ferries.   The Government will fully subsidise the four ferry operators for the construction of electric ferries and the associated charging facilities, as well as the operational, maintenance and repair expenditures incurred by the operation of the electric ferries during the 24-month trial period.   The participating routes include the ferry route plying Central and Tsim Sha Tsui by the Star Ferry, the ferry route plying North Point and Hung Hom by the Sun Ferry Services, the ferry route plying Sai Wan Ho and Kwun Tong by the Coral Sea Ferry Service and the Water Taxi plying Kai Tak, Hung Hom, Tsim Sha Tsui, Central and West Kowloon by the Fortune Ferry.   The Government has established an inter-departmental working group to work out the pilot scheme details, oversee its progress and evaluate the performance of the electric ferries.   The Environmental Protection Department has also engaged a consultant to design the electric ferries and the associated charging facilities, and assist the ferry operators to prepare technical specifications for issuing open tenders for the construction of electric ferries.   In addition, the Government has set up an expert panel comprising a local naval architect and academics as well as the working group members to assess the design proposals of electric ferries.   Mr Wong said based on the current progress, the Government anticipated that the design proposals for the electric ferries and associated charging facilities will be completed within this year.   The ferry operators and the Government will be able to issue open tenders for the construction of electric ferries and the associated charging facilities later this year.   Taking into account the lead time to construct the electric ferries and the associated charging facilities, the pilot scheme will commence in 2023 tentatively.  
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