Outreach vaccinations start at University of Macau today
A 30-strong medical team will be delivering jabs to students and staff as the Health Bureau seeks to boost Macao’s slow vaccination rate.
Students and staff at the University of Macau (UM) will be getting their Covid-19 jabs over the next three days as the Health Bureau (SSM) launches the first of its outreach vaccination services.
The service will be carried out by a 30-strong medical team. Around 1,600 people have signed up for jabs which will be administered at the UM Sports Complex.
China’s Sinopharm inactivated jabs will be given during the first two days, while Germany’s BioNTech mRNA shots will be administered on the last day, according to Tai Wa Hou, who heads up the SSM’s vaccination programme.
Tai said that outreach vaccination services will first cover the city’s various higher education institutions, large enterprises and large organisations, adding that the SSM “would like to see” them contacting the bureau to discuss on-site inoculations.
The number of medical and other staff members in an outreach vaccination team will depend on the size of the venue and the number of people to be inoculated.
“We will decide [the number of workers in an outreach team] each time in a flexible approach,” Tai said, adding that given the total number of UM students, teaching and other staff and the size of the UM Sports Complex, the SSM had decided to send a 30-strong team to the campus.
Tai said that the team expected to inoculate up to 700 people per day at UM.
The SSM has a specific booking system for institutions that have joined the outreach vaccination services, which is different from its appointment system for members of the public at the 13 regular vaccination facilities.
Tai said that while he urged all UM students and staff to book their Covid-19 jabs online in advance, “walk-in” vaccinations will be available.
All potential vaccinees will have to undergo health assessments before they are inoculated jabs, and must fill in a health assessment questionnaire when they book a jab online.
Tai also said that including the University of Macau, the SSM has contacted five entities to discuss possible outreach Covid-19 vaccinations at their respective venues.
As of 4 pm yesterday, 95,629 doses of Covid-19 vaccine had been administered to 62,155 people in Macao, comprising 28,681 who had received their first jab and 33,474 who had received their second jab, The Macau Post Daily reported. At the end of last year Macao’s population stood at 683,100, according to the Statistics and Census Bureau.
Tai noted that Macao’s vaccination rate has so far reached just nine per cent, adding that another indicator of the progress of vaccination is that 14 doses have been administered per 100 people in Macao.
Tai said that the government was “surely dissatisfied” with the local vaccination rate. But he was quick to add that the number of people making appointments for jabs has been steadily increasing since the launch of the programme in February.
Initially several hundred people made an appointment per day, while 2,000 to 3,000 people have made an appointment per day recently, Tai said, adding that this shows residents’ willingness has been increasing.
Tai underlined that the government will stick to its principle of Covid-19 vaccinations only being given on a voluntary basis. “The bottom line is that the government will not force residents to get their jabs,” Tai said.
Tai revealed that the government is discussing with the University Hospital run by the Macau University of Science and Technology and the Macau Federation of Trade Unions, which runs a number of clinics, the possibility of setting-up Covid-19 vaccination facilities on their respective premises.