Hong Kong in talks with Thailand over recognition of vaccination records, says Sophia Chan

Hong Kong is in talks with Thailand over the recognition of vaccination records to allow Hong Kong citizens currently in Thailand to return to the SAR, said Hong Kong’s health chief.

Speaking at a Legco meeting today, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan Siu-chee, said the SAR government is currently in talks with some of the countries classified as “high-risk” over measures to verify people’s vaccination records.

Chan said they include members of ASEAN, such as Thailand and Malaysia. “The most important part of these talks is how to verify the vaccination records. The SAR government is not willing to see any fake vaccination certificates used for traveling,” she said.

She also added that the vaccination program in Thailand is spearheaded by the local government, making it easier to verify the records.

Meanwhile, the health chief said the vaccination rate for senior citizens aged 70 to 79 in Hong Kong is only at around 30 percent, along with a rate of 10 percent for those aged 80 and above.

“With the mutant variants of the coronavirus spreading around the globe, the government, after consulting the health experts, has decided that a 70 percent vaccination rate is no longer enough to safeguard the well-being of residents,” said Chan.

“The goal now is to reach 100 percent vaccination rate to create favorable conditions for the resumption of daily and economic activities, along with cross border travel. It will also better prepare Hong Kong for the next wave of the Covid epidemic.”

As of end-August, the Vaccine Allergy Safety Clinic set up by the Hospital Authority has over 4,000 cases on the waiting list, and around 2,800 of them with history of allergies are not yet vaccinated.

Chan said in view of past records, 98 percent of people who have a history of allergies will be fit for vaccination eventually.

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