Prevent flu, get vaccination
It is time to get flu vaccination
Influenza viruses and the coronavirus that causes Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) may both spread in the coming winter influenza season. A person getting influenza and COVID-19 at the same time may be more seriously ill. Getting a seasonal influenza vaccine (flu vaccine) early during 2020/21 is therefore important.
Who should get seasonal influenza vaccine (SIV)?
Given that SIV are safe and effective, severe cases can occur even in healthy persons, all members of the public aged 6 months or above, except those with known contraindications, should receive SIV for personal protection.
Where to get a seasonal influenza vaccine?
The Vaccination Subsidy Scheme (VSS) and the Government Vaccination Programme (GVP) 2020/21 have already started. Furthermore, under the SIV School Outreach (Free of Charge) Programme, the Government is providing free vaccination for school children in participating schools.
Government Vaccination Programme
The GVP provides free vaccination to eligible Hong Kong residents through designated public clinics. Elderly persons aged 65 or above can get vaccination in General Out-patient Clinics of the Hospital Authority and designated Elderly Health Centres of the Department of Health. Please visit the Centre for Health Protection website for more details on eligible groups ( https://www.chp.gov.hk/files/pdf/eligible_groups_202021_siv_en.pdf).
Vaccination Subsidy Scheme
The VSS covers the following Hong Kong residents to provide subsidised SIV:
- Pregnant women
- Persons of age 50 years or above
- Children of age between 6 months and less than 12 years, or children of age 12 years or above but studying at a primary school in Hong Kong
- Persons with intellectual disability
- Recipients of Disability Allowance
- Recipients of standard rate of “100% disabled” or “requiring constant attendance”under Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme of the Social Welfare Department
Eligible persons could arrange with clinics of private doctors enrolled in the VSS to receive SIV with subsidy of HK$240 per dose. The doctors may or may not charge extra fees.
Tips on healthy lifestyle to prevent flu
Apart from vaccination, effective ways to prevent infection from seasonal influenza include maintaining good personal and environmental hygiene, in particular the proper use of surgical masks, performing hand hygiene at all times, maintaining a balanced diet, regular exercise, not smoking and avoiding alcohol consumption.
For more information, please visit the Centre for Health Protection website (https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/features/100632.html) or call our enquiry line 2125 2125.