12 February 2014
Hong Kong has entered another peak flu season. From 3 January to 7 February 2014, there were 112 cases of influenza-associated ICU admission or death, among there 39 were fatal. Although the Government has put efforts in encouraging and subsidizing people at high-risk groups to receive influenza vaccine, the uptake rate remains suboptimal. Last year, there were only 14% of the population vaccinated. This fell short of the ideal threshold for herd immunity.
During today's press conference, Dr. TSE Hung Hing, HKMA President, and Dr. Alvin YS CHAN, HKMA Vice-President cum Chairman of the Task Force on Vaccination PPI had read out an open letter to The Hon Mr. John TSANG Chun Wah, GBM, JP, Financial Secretary, on preventive medicine budgeting for his consideration. The suggestions included:
Free vaccinations were offered to overweight students and healthcare professionals on spot. The Hong Kong Medical Association advice the public, especially those fall into the high-risk groups, to get influenza vaccinated and maintain good personal hygiene. To protect oneself, family and the community against influenza.
Notes to editors:
The Hong Kong Medical Association, founded in 1920, aims to bring together Hong Kong's government, institutional, university and private medical practitioners for an effective exchange of views and co-ordination of efforts. The foremost objective of the Association is to safeguard and promote public health. The Association speaks collectively for its members and aims to keep its members abreast of medical ethics, issues and advances around the world. In fulfilling these goals, the association hopes to better serve the people of Hong Kong.