Coronavirus: More than 40,000 Hongkongers register for vaccine

  • Chief Executive Carrie Lam was the first person in the city to receive the Sinovac jab, which arrived from mainland China last week
  • Priority residents, such as healthcare staff, will begin getting the Covid-19 shots today

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Carrie Lam received her Covid-19 vaccine on Monday, the first person in the city to do so. Photo: SCMP/Sam Tsang

Around 42,000 Hongkongers have signed up for Covid-19 jabs so far, just hours after the launch of the vaccination drive booking process, said Chief Executive Carrie Lam Yuet-ngor on Tuesday.

Lam said the number of registrations displayed the public’s sense of urgency in getting the vaccine.

“I would say people were impatient to book their vaccination slots,” she told her regular press conference before the Executive Council meeting.

Vaccinations started today for a select group, and will begin Friday for the rest of the city’s priority residents.

The first 1 million jabs from mainland China manufacturer Sinovac arrived in the city at the end of last week.

Some people in the priority categories – including healthcare workers, care home staff and people providing essential public services – will receive their injections on Tuesday, in a bid to encourage others to get vaccinated.

Only 39 per cent of Hong Kong residents willing to get government vaccine

All other priority residents can start receiving their jabs from Friday, with the booking arrangements and vaccination timings for the wider public not yet released.

On Monday, Lam and other senior officials became the first in the city to be vaccinated.

Lam described the campaign as a “ray of light” in Hong Kong’s year-long pandemic fight, adding she was “very happy, very excited” to take the jab and urged the public to also get the vaccine.

She said she didn’t feel any discomfort after receiving her jab. “I don’t even feel any pain in the part of my arm where the injection was administered.”

Lam also debunked rumours claiming the vaccines she and other officials received were not ones manufactured by Sinovac. The claims circulated online just hours after she was immunised.

What we know about Hong Kong’s Covid-19 vaccines

Residents will be able to receive their shots from Friday at five community vaccination centres, the government announced on Tuesday.

Another 24 centres will provide the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, co-developed by firms in Germany and the United States, once the first batch arrives, which is expected to be at the end of the month.

The Sinovac vaccines will also be available at 1,500 private clinics and 18 government-run general outpatient clinics.

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