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Mainland travel prompts HK vaccinations rush

Rina Latuperissa

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More than 70,000 people in Hong Kong have registered to get the Sinovac vaccine from Friday, with indications many want to travel to the mainland without being quarantined.

On Tuesday at midnight, the government’s vaccination registration website started allowing people to make appointments. The booking system overloaded at about 12:40am but the problem soon resolved itself. Many people spent 40-60 minutes registering.

Due to an error in the booking system, about 110 people were mistakenly allowed to book slots on Tuesday. They were given the shots on the same day. Many of them said they had full confidence on the Hong Kong government and the mainland vaccine. They said they hoped to have quarantine-free travel to the mainland after the second shot 28 days later.

As of 4pm on Tuesday, all the time slots between February 26 and March 11 had been reserved, according to the government. About 1,500 private clinics will provide the vaccine from March 2 or 3.

“The registration opened at midnight. Most citizens were sleeping, but some of them couldn’t wait and booked their vaccination. The response is enthusiastic,” Chief Executive Carrie Lam said before the weekly Executive Council meeting.



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