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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

National security funding explained

The Government today said the funding arrangement for the expenditure for safeguarding national security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was made in strict accordance with the National Security Law's relevant requirements.   The Government made the remarks in its response to media enquiries.   It pointed out that according to Article 19 of the National Security Law, the Financial Secretary shall, upon the Chief Executive's approval, appropriate from the general revenue a special fund to meet the expenditure for safeguarding national security and approve the establishment of relevant posts, which are not subject to any restrictions in the relevant provisions of the laws in force in the Hong Kong SAR.   The Financial Secretary shall submit an annual report on the control and management of the fund for this purpose to the Legislative Council.   To this end, the Financial Secretary has made a provision of $8 billion to meet the expenditure for safeguarding national security in the next few years and will submit a report to the Legislative Council in due course.   The Government also noted that according to Article 48 of the National Security Law, the Central People's Government (CPG) shall establish in the Hong Kong SAR an office for safeguarding national security.   The Office for Safeguarding National Security of the CPG in the Hong Kong SAR shall perform its mandate for safeguarding national security and exercise relevant powers in accordance with the law.   Additionally, Article 51 of the law stipulates that the office shall be funded by the CPG.   As such, the provision of $8 billion has nothing to do with the office's expenditure, the Government said.   It added that according to Article 14 of the National Security Law, no institution, organisation or individual in the Hong Kong SAR shall interfere with the work of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong SAR, and information relating to the committee's work shall not be subject to disclosure. Therefore, no further information regarding the fund will be provided.
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