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HK gov't offers free flu vaccination to target groups
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The Hong Kong government Monday launched an influenza vaccination program to offer about 300,000 people free shots.

The program, running from Monday until March 31 next year, will cover about 300,000 people in eight target groups recommended by the Center for Health Protection of the Department of Health of Hong Kong.

People who will be receiving free vaccinations include elderly people living in residential care homes, long-stay residents of institutions for the disabled, children and pregnant women receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance, poultry workers and others.

Hong Kong Secretary for Food and Health York Chow Monday visited an elderly home in Aberdeen to see the implementation of the program.

"The objective of providing free vaccination is to protect the elderly from complications of influenza infection by immunization before the arrival of the peak influenza season," Chow said.

Since 1998, the Hong Kong government has been providing free vaccination to all elderly living in residential care homes in Hong Kong under the vaccination program.

"The program has all along been well received, with coverage of over 90 percent of residents living in elderly homes in 2007," Chow said.

(Xinhua News Agency November 4, 2008)

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