Vaccine bubble fails to burst HKers' jab hesitancy - RTHK
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Vaccine bubble fails to burst HKers' jab hesitancy

2021-05-09 HKT 16:02
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  • A survey has found that the government's "vaccine bubble" measures did not serve as an incentive for most people to get vaccinated. Photo: RTHK
    A survey has found that the government's "vaccine bubble" measures did not serve as an incentive for most people to get vaccinated. Photo: RTHK
A survey has found that an overwhelming majority of respondents are not motivated to undergo inoculation against Covid-19, despite the government’s “vaccine bubble” initiatives that offer relaxed social distancing rules for those who’ve received the jabs.

Under the “vaccine bubble” scheme, karaoke bars, saunas, and party rooms are allowed to reopen as long as all staff and customers have had at least the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, while restaurants can also set up specific areas to seat more customers per table.

The Patients and Healthcare Professionals Rights Association interviewed 718 unvaccinated adults in April, and 88 percent said they would not get the jab simply to take advantage of the relaxed rules.

More than three quarters of respondents also said they were worried that they might not be physically fit to get vaccinated even though they did not have any chronic conditions.

Dr Jeffrey Pong, a convenor of the group, said the survey shows that many people “worried too much” about the possible side effects of vaccination.

“When we look into the real reported events list, most of them are actually quite minor, including chest discomfort, headaches, slight fever and so on,” he said.

He said officials should step up education and inform the public as quickly as possible of the findings of any investigations into deaths following vaccination.

Among the respondents, 35 percent said they had not yet decided whether to receive the vaccine, but Pong warned against a wait-and-see approach, saying the pandemic could worsen quickly if a mutant variant spreads in the community.

“The virus is actually getting more and more deceiving, they are more cunning. So in a way when the virus mutated, they are able to infect more people…there might be people with very very minimal symptoms walking around,” he said.

The group said that while introducing vaccine bubble measures is a good start, the government could also send medical teams to administer vaccines to staff at large corporations, open more vaccination centres at public and private clinics, and extend their opening hours.