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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

Gradual helper admission necessary

To prevent imported COVID-19 cases, the Government must resume the admission of foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) to Hong Kong in a gradual and orderly manner, Secretary for Labour & Welfare Dr Law Chi-kwong said today.   Answering a lawmaker’s questions at the Legislative Council, Dr Law outlined a number of facilitative measures for FDHs to come to work in Hong Kong. From August 9, FDHs who have been fully vaccinated in Hong Kong before leaving may return and work in the city. In addition, the first designated quarantine facility has commenced operations since August 30, providing 409 rooms for FDH quarantine.   From September 20, the Government has also opened a total of 800 units in Phases 1 and 2 of the Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre on Lantau Island for the quarantine of FDHs who have completed their jab courses in relevant Group A specified places, which currently include Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.   To further address FDH employers’ needs, an additional 200 units in the Penny’s Bay Quarantine Centre will be provided from October 22.   When asked whether the quarantine quota will first be allocated to families that urgently need to hire FDHs, Dr Law said it would not be easy to accord reservation priority at the Penny’s Bay centre because such arrangements would create controversies and administrative complications.   The Government will continue to refine the booking arrangements for the quarantine centre, and consider the need for further increasing the number of designated quarantine facilities, having regard to the worldwide and local epidemic situation, he emphasised.
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