Health chief makes flu jab appeal


Secretary for Health Prof Lo Chung-mau called on the public to get vaccinated early against seasonal influenza as he received his own vaccination at the Sai Wan Ho General Out-patient Clinic this morning.


The Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Subsidy Scheme 2023-24 launched today. In addition, the Government Vaccination Programme, the SIV School Outreach (Free of Charge) Programme and the Residential Care Home Vaccination Programme are all due to begin on October 5.


Prof Lo said: “Seasonal influenza vaccination (SIV) is one of the most effective means for preventing seasonal influenza and its complications, effective in reducing the occurrence of influenza-related hospitalisation and death. I therefore encourage members of the public to receive SIV.”


He highlighted that people contracting influenza and COVID-19 at the same time may have a higher risk of developing serious illness and dying.


“Citizens can consult healthcare personnel about getting COVID-19 vaccination in a timely manner when they receive SIV as a protection for their personal health,” he said.


Hong Kong entered the summer influenza season in August, and the winter influenza season is now approaching. The latest data shows seasonal influenza activity to be on the rise.


The Government is encouraging priority groups to receive undergo SIV as early as possible. Priority groups are  people aged 50 or above, adults aged 18 to 49 years with underlying comorbidities, those aged 6 months or above with immunocompromising conditions, pregnant women, and healthcare workers.


Those in the abovementioned groups are also encouraged to receive an additional COVID-19 vaccine booster in a timely manner, provided they have not had a vaccine dose or been infected with COVID-19 in the last six months. 


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