Health workers are seen in protective gear inside a locked down portion of the Jordan residential area to contain a new outbreak of COVID-19 in Hong Kong, China. (Representative image: Reuters)
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, when people in most countries are looking forward to vaccinating themselves against the deadly virus infection, most people in Hong Kong are choosing not to get vaccinated.
In the region with a 7.5 million population, 11.6 percent of people have so far received the COVID-19 vaccine since late February when the campaign was launched, reported Bloomberg.
According to the report, in countries like the United Kingdom and Singapore where the demands of vaccines are so much that most of the adult population has not yet been granted access. However, in Hong Kong the shots are not being used to inoculate, which led the government to warn people that some will expire in September, it said.
The vaccination drive in Hong Kong has faced skepticism from the beginning. It was fueled by a breakdown of communication between the unpopular, unelected government and population, said the report.
“I won’t take the vaccine, because my friends and I just don’t want to follow any instructions or recommendations from the government,” a 16-year-student told the publication.
Hong Kong is providing free shots, which are available to everyone over the age of 16 years.
The student further said, “I don’t trust anything from them. We’ll do our best to resist and fight against the government in the way we still can.”
Also, residents in Hong Kong have been hesitant to take the vaccine due to worries over adverse reactions and lack of confidence in the Chinese-made Sinovac vaccine, said a Reuters’ report.
Hong Kong offers both Sinovac and Germany's BioNTech vaccines and residents can choose.
As per the Hong Kong vaccination dashboard, 17,41,682 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered till now. Of these, 10,71,488 are first dose and 670,194 are second dose of jabs given to people.
The slow vaccination drive is likely to further delay the city’s return to normalcy, said the report.
To encourage people to get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, Hong Kong authorities have recently said that residents who have been fully vaccinated can spend a shorter time in quarantine if they have been exposed to a COVID-19 patient.