There is increasing evidence suggesting that a person who contracts influenza and Covid-19 at the same time may be more seriously ill and would have a higher risk of death. Influenza vaccination may reduce the likelihood of hospitalization and the length of stay, according to the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health.

It urges people to receive both the flu and Covid-19 jabs as soon as possible, in particular for elderly people who live in the community or residential care homes.

Elderly people who are fit for flu jabs are fit for Covid-19 vaccination. They should get Covid-19 jabs early as long as they are not suffering from acute illnesses.

“It is recommended to have an interval of at least 14 days between administration of seasonal influenza vaccines and Covid-19 vaccines,” the center said.

Starting this Wednesday, the Government Vaccination Program will provide free influenza vaccination for Hong Kong residents through designated public clinics, including:

- Pregnant women and children aged 6 months to under 12 years who are Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients;

- Elderly persons aged 65 or above attending public clinics and are CSSA recipients;

- Those aged below 50 with chronic medical problems, eligible in-patients of the Hospital Authority and eligible pediatric out-patients;

- Residents of homes for the elderly and persons with disabilities as well as residential child care centres;

- Public or institutional healthcare workers.

The full list of those eligible can be found here.

Further to the above, community-living elderly persons aged 65 or above can get vaccinated at designated Elderly Health Centres of the Department of Health starting from November 1 and at general out-patient clinics of the Hospital Authority from November 8.

Under the Seasonal Influenza Vaccination School Outreach, the government will arrange for outreach teams to provide free vaccinations for schoolchildren in participating schools.

The outreach service for kindergartens and child care centers will start on October 6, while the service for primary schools will start on October 13.

As for the subsidized vaccines also to be launched this Wednesday, it covers the following groups:

- people aged 50 years or above;

- pregnant women;

- children aged 6 months to less than 12 years, or primary school students;

- persons with intellectual disabilities.

They can receive subsidized influenza vaccination at clinics of private doctors enrolled in the scheme.

The list of doctors can be found here.