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SMS sender scheme expanded

The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) announced today that the SMS Sender Registration Scheme is now open for application by all sectors to further help the public verify the identities of SMS senders, with a view to combatting SMS fraud.   Apart from further opening up the scheme, the OFCA said it welcomes public and private organisations from various industries with a practical need to communicate with customers or clients via SMS to join the scheme.   Under the scheme, only registered senders are able to send SMS messages using their registered SMS sender IDs with the prefix “#”. All other SMS messages with sender IDs containing “#” but not sent by registered senders will be blocked by the telecommunications networks.   As such, the public can easily identify whether an SMS message is received from a registered sender by the prefix “#” in the SMS sender ID.   The OFCA reminds citizens to stay highly vigilant when receiving SMS messages from unknown sender

Vaccination case data updated

The Department of Health said that in the preceding week ending October 17, it received 32 reports of adverse events following COVID-19 immunisation.   Among them, no death case was reported by the Hospital Authority involving individuals who had received vaccines within 14 days before they died and had potential association with vaccination.   As at October 17, around 8.9 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered to the public.   The department received 6,217 reports of adverse events, 46 of which are death cases with vaccination within 14 days. The figures represented 0.07% and 0.0005% of the total vaccine doses administered. None of the death cases was associated with vaccination.   The Expert Committee on Clinical Events Assessment Following COVID-19 Immunisation concluded that 26 death cases had no causal relationship with vaccination, and preliminarily considered that 19 cases were not associated with vaccination. The remaining one is pending assessment.   The committee also considered that there is no unusual pattern identified so far.   According to information from the authority, during the period from September 20 to October 17, the ratio of death cases out of those without a vaccination record was 110.9 cases for every 100,000 people, whereas the ratio of death cases for those with a vaccination record was 5.4 cases for every 100,000 people. The overall death rate is similar to that recorded in the past three years.   Out of those without a vaccination record, the ratio of death cases with acute stroke or acute myocardial infarction was 5.4 cases for every 100,000 people, whereas the ratio of death cases under the same category for those with a vaccination record was 0.5 cases for every 100,000 people.   Furthermore, the ratio of miscarriage cases out of those without a vaccination record was 31.8 cases for every 100,000 people, whereas the ratio of miscarriage cases for those who had a vaccination record was 9.3 cases for every 100,000 people.   Based on the statistical analysis of the above figures, there is no evidence that vaccination increases the risk of death or miscarriage for recipients.   The relevant reference statistics will be uploaded to the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme thematic website.   The majority of non-death cases of adverse events received so far are relatively minor ones, details of which can be found here.
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