June 17, 2008
Hong Kong Considers Expanding Flu Vaccination to More Children
Hong Kong considers expanding flu vaccination to more children
HONG KONG, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong's top health official said here Monday the government is considering expanding the flu vaccination program to include children aged under five.York Chow, Secretary for Food and Health of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, told lawmakers here Monday that an additional 219,000 children will benefit once the program expands.
Chow said the HKSAR government is also studying the feasibility of subsidizing private doctors to provide the vaccinations.
He noted the pricing of private vaccination services should be transparent and reasonable, based on the vaccine cost and a fair price for the inoculation service.
Center for Health Protection Controller Dr. Thomas Tsang said the expansion is due to the higher hospitalization rate of children aged two to five compared with the general population.
Tsang added about 287,000 people received flu shots last year, taking up almost the entire 300,000 vaccines prepared by the HKSAR government.
Apart from children aged two to five, the center also recommended eight groups of people receive influenza vaccination, namely elderly home residents, long-stay residents of homes for the disabled, people aged 65 or above, people with chronic illnesses, healthcare workers, poultry workers, children aged six to 23 months and pregnant women.
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