Civil servant vaccination rate ‘not satisfactory’ – Health authorities

Conde S. Januario Hospital Clinical Director Tai Wa Hou expressed today (Monday) that the percentage of civil servants who have already accepted to be vaccinated for Covid-19 is still “not satisfactory”.

Speaking in today’s pandemic update press conference note that at present, Tai noted that about 42 per cent of civil servants have been vaccinated, a rate slightly lower than the overall rate of local citizens but in a class that held a higher responsibility to protect themselves.

“[The rate] is not ideal. We are currently trying to increase awareness promotion initiatives. We can’t carry out punitive measures that punish those who do not get vaccinated. We always follow the principle of voluntary vaccination,” Tai said.

Hong Kong authorities have recently stated that unvaccinated Hong Kong government employees, as well as education and health workers will soon have to pay for regular COVID-19 tests, city leader Carrie Lam said on Monday, however, Tai underlined local authorities do not have plans for similar policies

The health representative also noted that authorities also evaluated the level of risk incurred by different civil servants, with frontline workers, such as customs or port personnel, required to be tested every two weeks.

According to Tai, after a spike following the surge of cases in the neighbouring province of Guangdong, the number of daily vaccinations has dropped to about 3,000 to 4,000 appointments per day.

Health authorities also noted that the current vaccination rate in the elderly local population is also not ideal, and as a way to try and boost the current rate, residents aged 60 or above were allowed starting from today to carry out walk-in vaccinations in local health centers.

As of today, only 21 per cent of residents between 60 and 69 years old, 10 per cent between 70 and 79 years old, and 2 per cent over the 80 years old have gotten the jab.

According to the most recent update, a total of 286,954, people in Macau have been vaccinated with at least a dose of either Sinopharm or BioNTech vaccines, almost half of the local population, but with only 231,182 having received the required two doses.

Tai also reiterated that the epidemic situation in the Mainland has developed rapidly and has spread to the whole country, urging citizens not to travel to provinces and cities outside Guangdong Province if not necessary, especially elderly or patients with chronic diseases who have not completed the entire vaccination process.