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HK doctors prefer Chinese Covid vaccine: survey

2021-01-22 HKT 16:18
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  • HK doctors prefer Chinese Covid vaccine: survey
Candice Wong reports
A pro-government healthcare workers' group and four unions in the medical sector say a survey they've carried out suggests Hong Kong doctors, nurses and dentists prefer China's Sinovac coronavirus jabs to those developed overseas.

Medical Conscience said on Friday that they polled 930 healthcare workers, including 444 doctors and 318 dentists, regarding the three vaccines the Hong Kong government has procured so far.

Sixty-one percent said their preferred vaccine would be the one made by Sinovac, while 22 percent opted for the one made by Germany's BioNTech and 11 percent the jab from Anglo-Swedish company AstraZeneca.

Five percent of the respondents said they would refuse to take Covid-19 vaccines altogether.

Medical Conscience said the survey was carried out between January 7 and January 14.

Researchers in Brazil only made public the findings of their late-stage trials of the Sinovac jabs on January 13, saying it has an efficacy rate of 50.4 percent - lower than those of the other two.

But Dr David Lam from Medical Conscience said many in the medical sector already knew that Sinovac was their favourite, because it is made in a more conventional way, using inactivated virus particles.

"Maybe doctors and nurses are kind of more conservative people so they choose something they know well. That’s probably the reason why more people chose the inactivated virus technology," Lam said at a press conference.

"I wouldn’t really put too much emphasis on the branding of the vaccines, but rather the technology behind them."

Lam also said he has no problem with the government’s plan to prioritise care home residents and staff over healthcare workers when the inoculation programme is launched.

He said while he believes doctors and nurses should be among the first groups of people to get the jabs, they don't need to be right at the front of the queue because they are well-trained and can protect themselves using their professional knowledge.