Hong Kong will enable youngsters age 12 and above to obtain the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine because it seeks to spice up immunization charges within the metropolis. Authorities officers mentioned Thursday they are going to supply the vaccine to about 240,00zero youngsters from 12 to 15 years outdated beginning Friday, becoming a member of different international locations which have began vaccinating youngsters.
The transfer comes as Hong Kong is urging its 7.5 million inhabitants to get inoculated. Since its vaccination drive started in late February, simply over 15% of the inhabitants has been absolutely vaccinated.
Town has seen widespread vaccine hesitancy on account of a distrust of the federal government and outsized fears of unwanted side effects after a number of folks died following inoculations, regardless of a dedication that the deaths weren’t straight associated to the vaccine.
“The federal government attaches excessive significance to getting adolescents and college students vaccinated, and it’s the authorities’s hope that extra college students, dad and mom and lecturers might be vaccinated,” mentioned Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip.
Since they’re under 18, youngsters should receive parental approval earlier than they are often vaccinated.
Well being minister Sophia Chan urged dad and mom to let their youngsters get vaccinated to “assist them to return to highschool for his or her regular lives as quickly as attainable.” College students in kindergarten by means of secondary faculty are at the moment attending solely half-day courses as a part of preventive measures throughout the pandemic.
The semi-autonomous Chinese language metropolis is providing the Pfizer vaccine — higher referred to as BioNTech within the metropolis — and the Chinese language-made Sinovac vaccine.
Hong Kong officers say these desirous to obtain the Pfizer vaccine should accomplish that by the top of August earlier than the doses expire, and that vaccination facilities administering the Pfizer vaccine will stop operations in September.
The personal sector is providing a slew of incentives to encourage folks to get vaccinated. Firms are providing gold bars, a Tesla automobile and even an condominium in fortunate attracts open to vaccinated residents.
Hong Kong ended a 6-week streak with no native infections final week when a 17-year-old woman examined optimistic regardless of having no journey historical past. Her mom and sister later additionally examined optimistic.