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Source: Hong Kong Information Services

The Government today announced that a one-off special arrangement will be implemented to make available the unallocated nasal spray live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV) to Hong Kong residents who are not among the high risk groups for flu.

The move was made in view of the keen demand for seasonal influenza vaccines by members of the public and the tight supply of these vaccines around the world.

Under the special arrangement, Hong Kong residents aged between two and 49, save for those who are pregnant, have low immunity or have contraindications which rendered them not suitable for the LAIV, will be allowed to have access to the LAIV provided by the Government.

From December 22, eligible people may receive the vaccine via private doctors or clinics participating in the Vaccination Subsidy Scheme and the special arrangement on a first-come-first-served basis.

People under eligible groups of the scheme who are suitable for receiving the LAIV would continue to receive a free vaccination under the special arrangement. A subsidy of $100 per dose will be provided to the doctor for provision of vaccination services.

For other Hong Kong residents receiving the LAIV under the special arrangement, the private doctors will not receive an additional subsidy from the Government, but should undertake not to collect more than $100 from the vaccinated person.

The LAIV will be provided while stocks last. Those who wish to receive it are recommended to make an appointment with the clinics concerned.

The Food & Health Bureau said the suspension of face-to-face classes has led to a number of vaccination activities being cancelled under the 2020-21 SIV School Outreach (Free of Charge) programme, adding that the recent wave of the epidemic may also affect the vaccination plans for members of the public and thus a limited quantity of the LAIV remains available.

Compared to quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccines, the LAIV has more restrictions in administration of vaccines with a shorter shelf-life.

The special arrangement aims to encourage more members of the public to receive a vaccination and to reduce wastage, the bureau added.      

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News