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1.09m vaccine doses given

About 1,091,100 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to the public, with about 719,900 people receiving their first dose and about 371,200 people getting their second dose.   Among those given the first dose of vaccines, about 375,600 people have received the Sinovac jab and about 344,300 people have received the BioNTech one.    For the second dose, about 223,100 people have received the Sinovac vaccine, while about 148,100 people have been administered the BioNTech jab.   About 3,600 people received their first dose of the Sinovac vaccine under the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme today.   Among them, about 3,200 people received the jab at eight community vaccination centres (CVCs), while about 400 were inoculated at private doctors and clinics participating in the programme.   Around 10,400 people received their second dose of the Sinovac vaccine today, including about 9,800 people vaccinated at CVCs and about 600 people through private doctors and clinics.  

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Internships nurture future talent

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the global economy.   When it comes to job prospects, young people are feeling some of the harshest impacts as internships have been eliminated across a wide range of industries.   To provide more hands-on experience and learning opportunities for students to prepare themselves for a future career, the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) launched the 2020 Winter Internship for the first time.   Vanora Chan is one such intern who benefited greatly from the programme. She studies at the University of Science & Technology, majoring in biotechnology and business.   “I worked in HKPC’s Green Living & Innovation Division. I had two to three projects that I worked on with my colleagues. One was related to wastewater treatment.   “During the wastewater treatment project, I gained hands on experience from working in the lab and doing some chemical quick tests to monitor the status of the bioreactors.”   Miss Chan attained valuable advice from her mentor and co-workers. She said the experience is one that broadened her horizons in the field of innovation and technology.   “In the past, I also joined some internships. During those internships, I got some experience in the research and development of drugs. However, during those internships, I only helped to assist the supervisors on their ongoing projects and did not have the chance to apply what I learnt and my ideas for their projects.”   She described her HKPC colleagues as very open-minded because they allowed her to apply what she learnt at university to the R&D project. They also helped her understand how to commercialise such technologies and add more value to society.   The scheme ran for six weeks, from December 2020 to January 2021. A total of 25 local and overseas tertiary students joined the programme.   Additional support The council’s Chief People & Culture Officer Eliza Ng said their internships offer students an excellent chance to gain practical work experience while exploring career options.   They also helped overseas students who had to stay in Hong Kong due to the pandemic.   “During the current situation, I think the economic situation is not so good. So we want to create more opportunities to give youngsters the opportunity to work in the commercial area, so that they can have more opportunities to prepare themselves for when they select which career they would like to develop, especially in the innovation and technology area.”   Ryan Yu and Brian Wong, who are students from the University of Cambridge in the UK and Yale University in the US, are taking a gap year because of the global pandemic.   This internship prompted their interest in innovation and technology development.   Mr Yu said: “One of the main reasons why I decided to take a gap year was due to the current situation with the pandemic.   “So being in Hong Kong, I was actually really fortunate to be able to find a winter internship because not many other companies are actually open to doing so, especially in the current situation.   “This is also the reason why I decided not to go to the UK for any internships because, in fact, with the current situation a lot of companies are also not open to such opportunities for first-year students like me.”   Eye-opening experience As an engineering student, Mr Yu said he would be open to doing anything engineering related which includes R&D and more innovative options.   “I am currently open to exploring my future, whether it be in Hong Kong, Mainland China or the UK. So I think gaining this kind of exposure really helps me with that.”   Fellow intern Mr Wong said he gained exposure to a variety of different fields by way of the scheme.   “I worked in the APAC division, which stands for the Automotive Platforms & Application System R&D Centre. I worked on a consulting project for the Government where we studied land requirements for the vehicle maintenance industry. So what I was responsible for was conducting data analysis and data processing for a bunch of vehicle maintenance workshops.   “It also piqued my interest in fields such as data analytics, artificial intelligence and robotic technology development and it makes me want to pursue these fields further in the university.   “I feel like learning about these fields will help contribute to Hong Kong’s development as an influential information and technology hub.”   The Hong Kong Productivity Council is already preparing for its annual summer internship programme. Ms Ng is confident another round of the winter internship will take place this year.
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