Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Elsie Ao Ieong U has announced that the Macao government is studying the possibility of buying insurance for all those who get Covid-19 injections in its Covid-19 vaccination programme, which will be implemented later this year.
Including the possible insurance cover, the government expects to spend, on average, about MOP 500 on two Covid-19 injections per person, according to the policy secretary.
The possible insurance scheme is to provide cover for those who might suffer an adverse event after getting vaccinated against Covid-19.
Ao Ieong made the remarks while speaking to reporters at the Macao Cultural Centre (CCM) in Nape on Friday after the government’s annual ceremony to award decorations, medals and honorific titles.
The Macao government announced in September last year that it aimed to purchase 1.4 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines covering the city’s whole population – two shots for each person.
The Macao government announced last month that it has purchased 1.2 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines developed by three vaccine developers, comprising 400,000 doses of inactivated vaccines developed by Beijing-based China National Pharmaceutical Group (also known as Sinopharm), 400,000 doses of mRNA vaccines developed by Germany’s BioNTech, and 400,000 doses of adenovirus vector vaccines jointly developed by the Anglo-Swedish joint venture of AstraZeneca and Oxford University, apart from 200,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines from the COVAX Facility – the global vaccine allocation plan jointly run by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
The Macao government said last month that it expected the first batches of the Sinopharm and BioNTech vaccines to be delivered to Macao in the first quarter of this year, while the first batch of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines was expected to arrive in Macao in the second quarter of this year. The government said at that time that the first batches of the Sinopharm, BioNTech and AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines to be delivered to Macao would each consist of at least 100,000 doses.
The Macao government also said last month that the 200,000 COVAX injections were slated to be delivered to Macao in the fourth quarter of this year.
The Health Bureau (SSM) reaffirmed early this month that the first batches of the Covid-19 vaccines purchased by the government will be delivered to Macao in the current quarter.
Shots to be non-mandatory
The Macao government has underlined that Macao’s future Covid-19 injections will be non-mandatory.
The Health Bureau also said early this month that local residents’ Covid-19 injections provided by the government will be free of charge, adding that it was still studying whether non-resident workers will be charged for the Covid-19 shots.
Speaking to reporters last month, Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng first revealed that the government expected to spend, on average, about MOP 500 on its Covid-19 injection per person.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Ao Ieong said that the approximately MOP 500 per person would include two Covid-19 shots for each person and the insurance cover, which would also be borne by the government.
The government has been discussing details about the possible Covid-19 vaccination insurance with the city’s insurance sector.
Ao Ieong said that the insurance compensation amounts would depend on the different kinds of adverse effects that a person might experience after the Covid-19 injections, adding that while the government has not yet fixed the respective amounts, the compensation “would not be low”.
When asked by the media about the Hong Kong’s government plan to set up an indemnity fund for those who encounter a “severely adverse event” associated with the administration of a Covid-19 vaccine, Ao Ieong said that the Macao government has concluded that an insurance scheme covered by the government would be a more effective solution for Macao.
The Health Bureau underlined at the weekend that it is in the process of establishing an online appointment system for its Covid-19 vaccination programme.
(The Macau Post Daily/Macao News)
Photo by Exmoo