Minister denies pressure over care home jab scheme

The minister in charge of the vaccination programme, Patrick Nip, on Friday denied putting pressure on elderly people living at care homes to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

The authorities have rolled out a pilot scheme that will see residents inoculated if they and their family members don’t object – although they have to state their reasons.

Under the scheme, doctors will visit residents at 10 care homes to assess if they are medically fit to get the Sinovac jabs.

The civil service secretary stressed that it’s both safe and necessary for elderly people to get vaccinated, noting that less than 10 percent of the residents at care homes have been inoculated.

“There’s no such thing as putting pressure [on people]. Absolutely not,” he said.

Nip said he hoped the scheme can simplify procedures and boost the low vaccination rate.

However, Yuen Shuk-yan, from the Society for Community Organisation, said the arrangement had been introduced in haste, adding that it’s more important to allay elderly people’s concerns and only administer the shots if they agree.

She also told a RTHK programme that she’s worried that care homes may force the residents to get vaccinated in order to “show some results” to the government.
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Last updated: 2021-10-1 HKT 18:03