THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

Influenza vaccination coverage expanded to elderly and intellectually disabled

Influenza vaccination coverage expanded to elderly and intellectually disabled. | Courtesy of biothreatsmitre.org
Dr. Leung Ting-hung, Controller of the Center for Health Protection (CHP) of the Hong Kong Department of Health (DH), recently announced that free influenza vaccination coverage has been expanded to include all people 65 years old or older as well as persons with intellectual disabilities (PIDs).

"In view of community influenza outbreaks severely affecting the elderly and those with underlying illnesses during the last winter season in early 2015, and their higher risk of developing severe complications or death, we will expand the scope to encourage all elderly aged 65 or above to receive free vaccination from the public sector,” Leung said. “A more organized and comprehensive vaccination approach will also be adopted for PIDs in both the public and private sector. We hope that the new initiatives can boost the overall vaccination coverage, particularly among the elderly, for better protection before the influenza season arrives.”

These two groups have been included as separate from other groups that are eligible for free vaccine coverage during the 2015 and 2016 influenza season.

"We have maintained close liaison with working partners and stakeholders, including the HA, the Social Welfare Department, the Education Bureau, institutions serving PIDs, RCHEs, RCHDs as well as the healthcare sector, and held briefings in advance of the programs,” Leung said. “Apart from vaccination, we will spare no effort to protect the public from the possible winter influenza season by ongoing disease and laboratory surveillance as well as health publicity.”

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Hong Kong Centre for Health Protection Hong Kong ,

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