All athletes at inter-school sports competitions and all participants in the annual summer activities may be required to have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Luís Gomes, acting chief of the Non-Tertiary Education Department of the Education and Youth Development Bureau, said that many local schools and education associations have asked the government to require all students participating in activities and events that take place outside their respective schools to have been inoculated against the novel coronavirus, a practice similar to the Covid-19 vaccination requirements imposed by international sports events around the world.
Gomes said that his bureau is studying the suggestions and the implementation of a possible measure that would require all participants at such events to have been vaccinated. In addition, Gomes said, his bureau will listen to opinions from the Health Bureau (SSM), the education sector, and other associations involved in the organisation of local sports events, before rolling out the measure next month at the earliest.
In related news, Leong Iek Hou, who heads the SSM’s Communicable Disease Prevention and Control Division, said that since the launch of Macao’s Covid-19 vaccination programme early last year, her bureau has issued 7,557 certificates confirming the respective holders’ unsuitability for Covid-19 vaccinations, but the vast majority of them have only been unfit to be inoculated against the novel coronavirus for a period of time, not permanently, due to certain health reasons, such as pregnancy, uncontrolled hypertension, fever, and having been inoculated with another vaccine within the past 14 days.
Leong noted that those who are temporarily unable to be vaccinated against Covid-19 due to health reasons will be able to be inoculated once their condition stabilises.
Leong said that the SSM has only issued six people with a certificate confirming that they are permanently unable to be vaccinated against Covid-19 as they have an acute allergy to Covid-19 vaccines – the only absolute contraindication to Covid-19 vaccinations.
Leong also announced that she believed that most of Macao’s public servants have been fully (twice) vaccinated against Covid-19.
Leong noted that since 21 February this year, all public servants must either display a certificate confirming that they have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 at least 14 days prior, or present a nucleic acid test (NAT) certificate confirming a negative Covid-19 result valid for seven days.
Leong said that according to data provided by the Public Administration and Civil Service Bureau on 21 February when the “full-jab-or-test” measure started, 3,889 public servants needed to present an NAT certificate because of not having been fully inoculated against the novel coronavirus. Leong said that as the measure has been implemented for over a month, she believed that many of them have meanwhile been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
According to the latest statistics, Macao had around 32,000 public servants at the end of 2020. The number of public servants is understood to have remained almost unchanged since last year.
A jab-or-test measure was started for public servants in October last year, but they were only required to have received at least one Covid-19 jab or present an NAT certificate at that time. The measure was upgraded to the current version on February 21 which requires public servants to have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or present an NAT certificate.
Leong also said that the Covid-19 vaccination rate amongst those working for the SSM now exceeds 90 per cent, The Macau Post Daily reported.