$200 jabs coupons bring out Kwai Tsing elderly

Local | Wallis Wang 24 Sep 2021

Elderly who turned up for walk-in jabs of the Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine at Kwai Chung yesterday were rewarded with gifts of HK$200 supermarket coupons.

The coupons are being distributed as part of an outreach inoculation service at Shek Lei Community Hall vaccination center for those aged 60 or above living in Kwai Tsing who have yet to receive their first dose. The outreach service ends tomorrow at 6pm.

As of noon yesterday, 77 elderly had received the Sinovac vaccine at the center.

Word of the coupon distribution saw more than 10 elderly waiting outside the hall at 9.30am - half an hour before vaccinations started.

A man in his 90s, Leung, said he chose Sinovac for his first jab as he is poor and needs the coupons.

Leung, a diabetic, needs two injections a day, but he did not consult doctors before vaccination.

"I'm already over 90 years old and I'm not afraid [of the side effects]," Leung said.

A woman, Chow, was surprised and happy to receive the coupon as she was not aware of the reward.

Chow, in her 70s, said her daughter-in-law and grandson have already been vaccinated. But she did not get the jab earlier as she has high cholesterol and blood pressure.

She said her doctor recently allowed her to get the jab, adding she opted for Sinovac as that's the one her doctor chose for himself.

Some elderly who had already been vaccinated came for the coupons and left after finding out that they would only be given to those getting the jab on designated dates this month and at the end of next month.

Those who were disappointed included 70-year-old, Tse, who lives in Tsing Yi, who found out he was ineligible as he received the jabs last month.

Tse said it was unfair to give coupons only to those jabbed this month and next. "Why is there no HK$200 coupon for the elderly who have already received the jabs in August?"

That came as more than 100 elderly participated in a vaccination event at Kwun Chung Sports Centre, where a one-stop service covering a health talk, medical consultation and vaccinations was provided.

Stepping up the pace was the Hospital Authority, which said it will also launch three vaccination stations at Queen Elizabeth, Tuen Mun and Queen Mary hospitals to allow people to get jabs after consultations.

Further afield, a Hongkonger living in Myanmar said she wanted to come back but said there was no direct flight from the country to the SAR now.

Karen got both Sinopharm doses but the vaccine is not recognized in Hong Kong as Myanmar is not on the SAR's list of places of recognized vaccination records.

Karen is mulling over going to Bangkok first before returning, but she might have to get another two doses there to have a vaccination record that Hong Kong recognizes. She is worried about the health risks and urged Hong Kong to accept Myanmar's vaccination records and to charter flights to take Hongkongers home.

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