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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

August retail sales up 11.9%

The value of total retail sales in August, provisionally estimated at $28.6 billion, rose 11.9% compared with the same month in 2020, the Census & Statistics Department announced today.   Of the total retail sales value in August, online sales accounted for 7.4%. Provisionally estimated at $2.1 billion, the value of online retail sales increased 16.5% year-on-year.   After netting out the effect of price changes over the same period, the provisional estimate of the volume of total retail sales for the month increased 10.6% compared with a year earlier.   The value of sales of jewellery, watches and clocks and valuable gifts increased 28%.   This was followed by sales of electrical goods and other consumer durable goods, not elsewhere classified (+10.1% in value); food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (+1.3%); other consumer goods, not elsewhere classified (+30.7%); commodities in department stores (+7.5%); wearing apparel (+35.7%); medicines and cosmetics (+13.6%); fuels (+21%); furniture and fixtures (+6.5%); books, newspapers, stationery and gifts (+27.9%); footwear, allied products and other clothing accessories (+62.3%); Chinese drugs and herbs (+26.7%); and optical shops (+60.4%).   The value of sales of commodities in supermarkets decreased 8% for the period, followed by sales of motor vehicles and parts (-0.4% in value).   The Government said the year-on-year growth in the value of total retail sales picked up notably in August, thanks to the boost from the Consumption Voucher Scheme (CVS). The stable local epidemic and improved labour market conditions also contributed.   Looking ahead, the Government noted that the CVS should continue to bode well for local consumption sentiment in the rest of the year.   Nevertheless, keeping the epidemic under control remains pivotal to a full-fledged recovery of the retail sector and the overall economy. It is thus essential for the community to strive towards more widespread vaccination, it added.
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