HONG KONG, May 12 (Xinhua) -- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government announced Thursday that about 3.38 million people had received their third COVID-19 vaccine dose as of Thursday, accounting for 50 percent of the population aged 12 or above.
The HKSAR government appealed to eligible persons for receiving the third dose of COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible to enhance protection and to prepare for the implementation of stage three Vaccine Pass at the end of this month.
Patrick Nip, secretary for the civil service of the HKSAR government, said that at present, there are about 1 million people who are due to receive their third dose but have not yet done so.
"We need the proactive response from every member of the public in boosting the vaccination rate together and building a stronger protective barrier to cope with the future risks brought about by potential emergence of new mutant strains," Nip said.
Currently, the COVID-19 vaccination rates of persons aged three or above for the first and second doses are 91.5 percent and 85.6 percent respectively, he said.
On Thursday, Hong Kong registered 115 new COVID-19 cases by nucleic acid tests, and 179 additional cases through self-reported antigen rapid tests, official data showed. ■