2/3 of UM students who have booked COVID-19 jab are non-locals: govt

2021-04-28 03:03     Comment:0

Speaking to reporters yesterday at the University of Macau (UM), where the government’s outreach COVID-19 vaccinations started yesterday, Tai Wa Hou, the coordinator of the Health Bureau’s (SSM) COVID-19 vaccination programme, said that 1,700 UM students, teaching and other staff have so far signed up for COVID-19 jabs during the three-day outreach vaccination period on the campus, which will end tomorrow.

Tai said that two-thirds of the UM students who have so far booked a jab are non-locals.

The on-site inoculations are carried out from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the three-day period at the UM Sports Complex by a 30-member medical team comprising doctors, nurses, assistants, IT technicians, and registration staff members.

China’s Sinopharm inactivated jabs are being given during the first two days – yesterday and today, while Germany’s BioNTech mRNA shots will be administered on the last day – tomorrow.

Mainland students more keen than others to get vaccinated

Tai said the fact that relatively few local students have booked a jab during the outreach vaccination period at the University of Macau was expected by his bureau. Tai said that Macau residents generally have high confidence in the local government’s COVID-19 prevention and control work, because of which “they think that there is no urgency to be inoculated against COVID-19”.

On the other hand, Tai said that students from the mainland are aware that a COVID-19 epidemic might occur in their respective hometowns, apart from the fact that many of them travel between Macau and the mainland regularly, because of which mainland students enrolled in Macau are aware that they face a higher COVID-19 risk. Consequently, Tai said, students from the mainland in Macau have a higher desire to be inoculated against COVID-19.

Tai said that the Health Bureau is discussing with the University of Macau the possible on-campus second COVID-19 jabs for those who have received their first shot during the current outreach vaccination period. Tai pledged that his bureau would carry out the second outreach on-site vaccination service for the University of Macau if the students want it.

Tai also said that his bureau is discussing with other higher education institutions about their possible outreach COVID-19 vaccination programme, adding that his bureau expects their on-site inoculations to get off the ground soon.

Tai also noted that in case an anaphylactic reaction may occur, various kinds of first-aid equipment have been set up at outreach vaccination venues, despite the fact that the probability of anaphylactic reactions after being given COVID-19 jabs is very low – one to six cases per million doses. In addition, an ambulance is parked outside an outreach inoculation venue as a standby. All the first-aid equipment and its operation set up at an outreach vaccination venue are identical to those in a hospital’s emergency room, Tai said.

According to Wiktionary, anaphylaxis – also known as anaphylactic shock or reaction – is an extreme sensitivity to a substance such as a foreign protein or drug, or a severe and rapid systemic allergic reaction to an allergen, causing a constriction of the trachea, preventing breathing.

Travel bubble conditions

Meanwhile, Tai also underlined that Macau could only create a travel bubble with a particular jurisdiction with a similar COVID-19 situation. Tai underlined that all over the world only the Chinese mainland has a similar COVID-19 situation with Macau.

Tai said that although new local COVID-19 cases have been occasionally reported in some cities in the mainland, their authorities have been able to quickly and effectively bring the local COVID-19 epidemic under control after implementing accurate COVID-19 prevention and control measures.

Tai underlined that the possible creation of a travel bubble between two places would involve matters that need in-depth discussions, such as the mutual recognition of each other’s COVID-19 vaccination records and the launch of a “vaccine passport”.

Tai said that for the time being the Macau government will first discuss the possible mutual recognition of vaccination records with provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in the mainland that are currently not affected by COVID-19.

Observers have noted that Macau has created a quasi-travel bubble with the mainland after the latter lifted its 14-day quarantine requirement for all arrivals from Macau in August last year.

Over 98,000 jabs

Meanwhile, the Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre announced last night that as of 4 p.m. yesterday 98,021 doses of COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in Macau, involving 64,047 people, of whom 29,938 had received their first jab and 34,109 had been given their second jab.

A total of 16 adverse events were reported in the past 24 hours (until 4 p.m. yesterday). The total number of adverse events since the start of the vaccination drive stood at 443, including two serious cases.

Meanwhile, the 29th round of government-subsidised facemask sales started yesterday.

This photo taken yesterday shows first-aid equipment, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation devices, set up at the Sports Pavilion of UM Sports Complex, the university’s outreach vaccination venue. According to the UM website, the university currently has 11,414 students, comprising 6,711 locals and 4,703 non-locals. Photo: GCS

A medical worker administers a Sinopharm COVID-19 jab to a University of Macau (UM) student at the UM Sports Complex on its Hengqin campus yesterday, the first day of the government’s three-day outreach COVID-19 vaccination service for the public university. Photo: UM

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