Give jabbed an extra $3,000 in e-vouchers, Liberal Party urgesTop News | Sophie Hui 6 May 2021
Give out an additional HK$3,000 of electronic vouchers to those who get vaccinated, the Liberal Party has proposed to a finance official in a Legislative Council meeting yesterday as over one million people have received the first Covid-19 vaccine jab.
The suggestion was made by the party's lawmaker Peter Shiu Ka-fai in yesterday's meeting as he believed an additional HK$3,000 vouchers on top of the HK$5,000 electronic vouchers can provide an incentive for people to get vaccinated.
But Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury Christopher Hui Ching-yu said it is inappropriate for him to say whether major health-care policies should be linked to monetary rewards at the meeting.
He agreed that vaccinations are the best way to create a safe environment so the economy can recover soon.
"I suppose we all care about vaccinations. As for the specific measures and incentives, this is a big topic," Hui said.
"We have taken note of Shiu's comment and in the next stage, we can see from the public health perspective and encounter a more robust discussion," he added.
This came as Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip Tak-kuen said on Facebook that over one million people have taken the vaccine since administration of the jabs started on February 26.
Nip sais he appreciated the public's support and urged those who have not been vaccinated to do so as soon as possible. According to official numbers, as of Tuesday, some 989,700 people have received their first dose. Of these, around 573,000 have received their second dose.
Some 452,100 people received the mainland-made Sinovac vaccine, and about 537,600 people took the German-made BioNTech vaccine.
Only 15 percent of the population in Hong Kong have taken the first jab, a vaccination rate that is way lower than Western countries like Britain that has hit the 52 percent mark. The vaccination rate in America is 45 percent.
Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee said Hong Kong is still a long way away from building an immunity barrier in community.
She told lawmakers yesterday that the government will launch a new round of vaccinations next year, and the government has started discussions with vaccine suppliers about purchasing the next generation of vaccines.
"Vaccine protection against variants is an important concern of ours when approving and purchasing Covid-19 vaccines in the future," Chan said.
"Although we are not sure about when the next generation of vaccines will be available, we have started discussions with vaccine suppliers around the world on providing Hong Kong with vaccines that have stronger protection against variants, in order to fit our next round of the Covid-19 vaccination program," she said.