The government is asking the Legislative Council to approve a funding request of HK$1 billion for the setting up of a compensation fund, with Hong Kong set to roll-out a mass inoculation program against Covid-19.
An Assistant Director of Health, Frank Chan, said a series of tests and assessments would have to be conducted to confirm whether "adverse events" such as facial paralysis, Guillain Barre Syndrome, disability and death, are directly linked to the vaccination.
“The experts will consider a series of factors, including looking at the patients’ underlying illnesses, carry out tests in a laboratory to see if the patients got any infection and take into account the background rate of the disease, meaning how likely the disease would happen without vaccination,” he said.
“The patients will get compensated if we can’t rule out the link between the disease and vaccination after looking into all these factors.”
Meanwhile, a research team at the University of Hong Kong will recruit 1,500 people who receive each type of coronavirus vaccine to follow up on their condition for three years.
Looking ahead, Professor Ivan Hung from the university said he expected it would take a few years for Hong Kong to achieve herd immunity as the level of antibodies people have will drop even after vaccination.
Large numbers of staff could leave nursing when the pandemic is over after being offered a 1% pay rise, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has warned.