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OT&P COVID-19 Update and Podcast

It has been some time since our last COVID-19 update. In Hong Kong, we are again seeing an increase in social distancing regulations in response to the fourth wave of infections. The incidence of silent community transmission and evolving clusters makes it likely that enhanced social distancing measures will remain in place for some weeks.

Communicating risk in evolving epidemics is challenging. Uncertainty and lack of control are key factors in stress and there is a natural tendency to focus on difference, rather than consensus, when faced with opinion from experts. Hong Kong is fortunate to have world-class expertise in the management of infectious disease and particularly in the fields of epidemiology and virology. For this newsletter, we have produced a podcast in which Dr David Owens interviews Professor Ben Cowling, the division head of the department of epidemiology and biostatistics in the School of Public Health at the University of Hong Kong. Ben and David discuss the transmission of COVID-19, whether we should close schools and consider the public health dilemma of balancing the impact of a disease against the impact of the public health measures used to control the disease. The podcast can be accessed via Spotify and directly through our website. It will become accessible in iTunes and other podcast platforms in the near future.

COVID-19 Vaccination

The Hong Kong Government has announced supplies of three vaccines. The vaccines must first be licensed in Hong Kong and the order will be dependent on further evidence of safety and efficacy. It is likely that all initial vaccines will be managed via the government in the first instance. OT&P has internationally accredited ACHS systems, a dedicated pharmacist and the ability to store vaccines at ultra-low temperatures. We will provide further information regarding our role in the vaccination program as the situation evolves. We will also continue to update the evolving evidence for COVID-19 vaccines on our website.

Influenza Vaccination

Following on from our vaccine update we are grateful for your understanding in our policy of allocating influenza vaccine on the basis of clinical need. We have managed to secure a further supply of influenza vaccines. Any patients who still require vaccination please book an appointment via your doctor. You can also book an appointment online with the link here.

Finally, we wish all of our patients well over this socially distanced festive season. A Merry Christmas to all and a peaceful, healthy and more normal 2021.

OT&P Healthcare

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