Hong Kong: Influenza Vaccination Subsidy Scheme Roundup
Over 140,000 injections were given to more than 80,000 children under the Influenza Vaccination Subsidy Scheme (IVSS) which was launched by the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health in the past five months, Head of Hong Kong CHP's Emergency Response and Information Branch, Dr Thomas Chung said.
Dr Chung said that based on present figures, Government has contributed over $11 million dollars to subsidize parents to get flu shots for their children from private doctors.
It was estimated that at least 26% of the 300 000 target children under the age of six had joined the scheme. Such coverage rate is comparable to overseas experience, ranging from about 20% to 40%, Dr Chung said.
"As the IVSS was just completed yesterday and we expect to receive more reimbursement forms from doctors up until mid-April, the final number of flu vaccines given and coverage rate will be higher than the present figures," Dr Chung said.
Dr Chung said there were 1,272 private doctors enrolled in the scheme. The doctors provided the vaccination in 1,542 clinics from all 18 districts in the territory.
"We expressed our gratitude to the participating doctors. Without their support, the IVSS would not have been conducted so smoothly," he said.
Dr Chung reminded children who needed to receive two doses and had already received the first dose under the IVSS to receive the second dose before May 31 this year. The second dose is also eligible for $80 subsidy by the Government.
Dr Chung said some parents who did not take their children to receive vaccination under the scheme were mainly concerned about potential side effects and the effectiveness of the flu vaccines.
The CHP would evaluate the results of the IVSS in the coming few months, which will provide useful information for improvement in its future implementation," he said.