Use consumption vouchers to boost elderly vaccinations, health expert suggests

The consumptions vouchers should be a financial incentive for the elderly to get vaccinated, the head of Hong Kong University's Centre for Infection, Ho Pak-leung, suggested on Monday.

Speaking on a radio program this morning, the microbiologist said there are currently around 300,000 elderly aged 60 or above in the city yet to receive a single dose of Covid-19 vaccine, calling on authorities to provide more incentives to encourage vaccine uptake among them.

Ho proposed that extra consumption vouchers could be distributed to elderlies who received all three doses of the Covid vaccine.

Meanwhile, he urged authorities to enhance the dissemination of anti-epidemic information, especially to the elderly.

The health expert said a number of elderly in the city have misconceptions about the epidemic that prompt unnecessary worries, leading to problems including the elderly’s refusal to take Covid drugs or report their infections.

Separately, Ho said Hong Kong should ease the hotel quarantine measures for arrivals sooner, scrapping the hotel quarantine and replacing it with seven days of medical surveillance at home.

He explained that imported cases only made up a small portion of Hong Kong's daily cases, in which the easing of the quarantine measures will pose minimal effect on the tally.

“However, if the easing is executed in winter near the end of this year, there is a much greater risk of seeing new Covid strains entering Hong Kong,” he added.