People stand in line outside a community vaccination center administering the BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine imported by Fosun Pharma in Hong Kong, China, March 17, 2021. (PHOTO / BLOOMBERG)
HONG KONG – The number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Hong Kong crossed the 8 million mark on Thursday, the same day the city’s government pledged to further promote vaccination in the community.
As of Thursday night, about 8,010,300 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to the public, with some 4.29 million people receiving their first dose, government data showed.
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Some 3.71 million people have been fully vaccinated with two doses, representing 55.1 percent of the eligible population.
Earlier on Thursday, the government announced to extend the operations of 21 community vaccination centers until yearend to encourage more residents, particularly the elderly, to take their jabs.
Sino Group’s philanthropic arm and Chinese Estates Holdings have said they would give away a second apartment in their Grand Central project should the number of vaccinated people against COVID-19 in the city hits 5 million by the end of September
At a media briefing, Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip Tak-kuen said the vaccination rate of people aged 70 or above is only 27 percent, much lower than that of other age groups.
He said the government will organize more COVID-19 vaccination health talks for senior citizens to help ease their concerns and arrange flexible and convenient vaccination services for them.
“Many of the elderly people that I have come across actually want to get vaccinated, but they have some concerns, especially as many of them may have chronic illnesses and all that,” Nip said.
“So what they need is some sort of clear explanation from a doctor's consultation and assurance from doctors and nurses. So that is what we will focus on.”
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The vaccination rate for people aged below 70 is 69 percent.
Other than the government, the private sector has also stepped in to encourage vaccination, offering “lucky draw” prizes ranging from an apartment to a Tesla or gold bars.
Sino Group’s philanthropic arm and Chinese Estates Holdings have said they would give away a second apartment in their Grand Central project should the number of vaccinated people against COVID-19 in the city hits 5 million by the end of September.
The Kwun Tong apartment, measuring 468 square feet (43 square meters), would be worth HK$12 million (US$1.5 million), the developers said.
The winner of the first HK$10 million flat offered by the developers was announced on Wednesday. The ID number of the winner starts with Z710, who is believed to be born in the 80s, local media reported.