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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

Sentences are in accordance with law

The Department of Justice today said baseless attacks on sentences imposed by the court, which properly and aptly exercises judicial power independently as guaranteed under the Basic Law, manifest a total disrespect to the rule of law.   The department made the statement in response to comments from overseas politicians concerning the sentences imposed by the District Court involving nine defendants who were jointly charged with organising and knowingly taking part in an unauthorised assembly.   It said two of the defendants pleaded guilty before trial while the remaining seven were convicted of all the charges by the court on April 1, adding the judge set out the reasons for the verdict in her judgment on the same day, which is publicly available at the Judiciary's website.   The judge also stated the sentencing principles in court in imposing the sentences today.   The department said the Government has repeatedly pointed out that where a defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty after trial, it is the court's duty to impose a just and appropriate sentence, applying the relevant principles to the circumstances of the crime and those of the offender.   It is crucial that where there is any dissatisfaction over the sentences imposed by the courts, any redress ought to be taken up by means of an appeal or review, it added.   The department noted it is appalled by open demands for the immediate release of the defendants who admitted to their wrongdoing by either pleading guilty to their criminal act or were convicted after trial by the court.   While pointing out that such demands, absurd and menacing as they are, are in blatant violation of international laws and basic principle of non-intervention, the department said statements that create a real risk of prejudice to court proceedings in that the public confidence in the due administration of justice is undermined may amount to contempt of court.   It reminded members of the public that no one should comment arbitrarily on cases in respect of which legal proceedings are still ongoing as the matter is sub judice.
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