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Source: Hong Kong Information Services

Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan called on the public to receive influenza vaccinations early for protection against seasonal influenza.

Prof Chan made the appeal today during a visit to Fanling Baptist Church Lui Ming Choi Kindergarten to observe outreach vaccination activities.

“The winter influenza peak usually occurs during January to March or April every year in Hong Kong. Seasonal influenza vaccination is one of the safe and effective means to prevent seasonal influenza and its complications.”

Measures initiated in the Policy Address aimed at increasing the vaccination uptake rate among schoolchildren include regularising the School Outreach Vaccination Pilot Programme to cover more primary schools.

The programme has also been expanded to cover kindergartens and child care centres on a pilot basis.

So far, about 430 primary schools and 710 kindergartens and child care centres have enrolled in the outreach vaccination activities, which represents about 65% of the city’s schools.

At the kindergarten Prof Chan visited today, the parents of 300 pupils consented to having their children receive the influenza vaccine in the form of a nasal spray.

While the winter influenza season usually starts in early January, Prof Chan warned that the exact time of its arrival cannot be predicted.

“As it takes about two weeks to develop antibodies, members of the public are advised to receive seasonal influenza vaccination early for protection.”

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News