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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

Vaccination centre workflow improved

The Government has strengthened the checking steps and displayed clear signage at community vaccination centres (CVCs) to prevent people from receiving the COVID-19 jab at a centre they did not select during booking.   It conducted a review of the relevant procedures at CVCs in response to earlier incidents in which some citizens received jabs at CVCs that were different from the ones they had selected during booking.    The Government noted that its COVID-19 Vaccination Programme has a set of stringent procedures, adding that the type of vaccine is mentioned throughout the vaccination process including online registration, as well as during the reception, information provision and consent-seeking stages at the CVCs.   It said cases of citizens being vaccinated at a venue different from that of their own booking and going unnoticed by CVC staff should not have happened.   Although those are isolated cases, the Government said it is highly concerned and needs to handle them seriously.   After a comprehensive check of the centres' vaccination records by government bureaus and departments and the relevant operators, together with the incidents discovered earlier, the Government noticed that a total of 24 people had been vaccinated at a CVC different from the one they had booked. Among them, some had changed their mind after making an appointment and went to another CVC, while some went to another CVC by mistake and received a vaccine not of their choice.   On learning about the cases, the Government has taken expeditious follow-up action to ensure that the citizens concerned will receive a second dose vaccine of the same make.   To prevent the recurrence of similar incidents in future, the Government has implemented a host of improvement measures, including enhancing staff training and requiring all CVCs to raise their level of vigilance. CVC supervisors are to strengthen their monitoring of centre management and the work of staff.   To facilitate the public's identification of the correct venue for vaccination, each of the CVCs and designated Hospital Authority general outpatient clinics have been assigned a unique code number.   The code number for venues administering the Sinovac jab will start with the prefix "S", while those for the BioNTech one will start with the prefix "B".   The SMS messages for people to be vaccinated will start with the code number of the vaccination venue chosen. The CVCs will also display their code number at prominent positions at the venue entrance.   Additionally, the public will receive an A5 folder with the name of the vaccine being clearly shown and a leaflet on the vaccine to be administered at the venue.   The Government urged members of the public to check, prior to getting vaccinated, the location of the CVC and the vaccine they booked to avoid going to the wrong venue.

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