A medical expert has warned that Hong Kong will not achieve "herd immunity" against the coronavirus unless it is able to provide five million people with vaccines, about 80 per cent of the population.
Speaking on RTHK's Letter to Hong Kong programme, Dr Alvin Chan, a co-chairman of the advisory committee on communicable diseases and a council member of the Medical Association, said the task was daunting and required resolute leadership.
"For mass vaccination to succeed, the government must try its best to educate the public about the need for vaccination; and to fend off misconceptions and false messages, especially the fallacies wrapped in pseudoscience, denouncing the vaccines," he said.
"The choice of vaccines should, of course, be based on published peer reviewed scientific research data, rather than emotional or political considerations."
The government has ordered 7.5 million doses each of three vaccines, provided by Sinovac, BioNTech and AstraZeneca. It said people would have a choice of vaccines, subject to their availability at a particular time and venue.
Chan also urged the government to look into the benefits of vitamin D in fighting the pandemic. He said research had shown that the vitamin could be helpful in preventing and managing Covid-19.
"As incentives for the mass vaccination programme, the government could consider giving out Vitamin D supplement for all Covid-19 vaccinees when they leave the venues, together with educational materials on the vital role of Vitamin D in our immune system, and a vaccination certificate or code, good for job applications, travelling, reopening of restaurants, gyms, theatres and businesses alike," he said.
"Vaccination is not 100 percent protection. We need to continue proper masking, social distancing, hand hygiene, and daily Vitamin D fortification."
5mn jabs needed for herd immunity: expert
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