‘Walk-in age change should boost Covid jab rate’

The operator of one of Hong Kong’s Covid-19 vaccination centres on Tuesday revealed that only half the walk-in slots reserved for seniors without a booking have been taken up at his facility so far, while expressing hope that the expansion of the scheme will lead to a higher take-up rate.

People aged 70 or above have been allowed to get vaccinated at one of the SAR’s 24 innoculation centres without a booking since late July, and starting on Wednesday, the scheme will be expanded to include people in their 60s.

“When you look at the age bracket, those aged above 60, like myself – around half of us have already been vaccinated. For the 70-plus category, the rate is a bit lower. So we think [the threshold change] will push more people to come out,” said Ares Leung from the Town Health Medical Group, who runs a vaccination centre in Tseung Kwan O.

He said only around half of the 200 slots reserved for walk-in seniors have been taken up at his centre. Altogether, all 24 centres across Hong Kong offer up to 4,600 jabs for walk-in seniors per day.

The doctor said special counters have been set up at his centre for those eligible for the scheme, with staff helping to give them more information about the vaccines, and assisting them with paperwork.

Leung urged people to help convince more senior citizens to get vaccinated as soon as possible, to better protect themselves from the pandemic.