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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

FS expects strong GDP growth

Financial Secretary Paul Chan welcomed the passage of the Appropriation Bill 2021, adding that he expected Hong Kong to register a relatively strong, positive GDP growth in the first quarter.   Meeting the media after the bill was passed by the Legislative Council today, Mr Chan noted that the advance estimates on GDP for the first quarter will be published next week.   He expected a rebound in the GDP figure due to the improved COVID-19 pandemic situation and strong recovery in the external economic environment.   “We expect there would be pretty strong GDP growth because of the fact that the comparison base last year is very low. We registered a contraction of 9% in last year’s first quarter.   “Also, since the middle of last year, although on a year-over-year basis the GDP continued to contract, on the basis of quarter-to-quarter GDP comparison we have seen gradual improvement since the third quarter.   “Given that the pandemic situation now in Hong Kong is pretty much under control - although we still need to be very vigilant - and considering the fact that the external economic environment is also recovering very strongly, no matter if it is in the Mainland, the US or other Asian countries, we are confident that with the impressive improvement on the trade side and the gradual recovery on domestic consumption, the first quarter of this year will see a relatively strong, positive GDP growth.”
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