Mandatory vaccination for key-sector workers in Hong Kong

Civil servants, teachers and healthcare workers must get inoculated against COVID-19 or pay for regular testing.
By: | August 4, 2021

This was announced by chief executive Carrie Lam as the city aims to raise its vaccination rate. Although it has enough supply of vaccines, Hong Kong’s vaccination rate has remained subdued. After six months, only 36% of the city’s 7.5 million eligible population are fully vaccinated with two jabs, while 48% have received one dose. 

Vaccination will be compulsory for those working in four sectors: civil servants, healthcare workers, care home staff and school teachers.  

Those who refuse vaccinations will have to be tested twice a week and pay for the cost of the tests out of their own pockets unless they have valid medical reasons not to be inoculated. “If people are refusing to get vaccinated for reasons that are not health related, I don’t think a responsible government should tolerate that,” Lam said. 

From September 1, civil servants who have not been vaccinated will have to take the COVID-19 tests at their own expense, and those who refuse to get the jabs or be tested will face disciplinary actions. Hospital Authority staff, care home workers and staff of public schools will be next in line to be included in the scheme. 

READ: Hong Kong’s unemployment rate in Q2 2021 falls to 5.5%

So far, about 70% of civil servants, 67% of Hospital Authority staff, 64% of staff of elderly and disabled homes, as well as 47% of the staff of primary, secondary and special schools have been vaccinated.