The Hong Kong Allergy Association on Wednesday called on people not to fear taking Covid vaccines, saying studies show the jabs are safe for people with allergies.
The association recently interviewed about 180 of its members and found most of them had received at least one dose of vaccine, many to meet vaccine pass or job requirements. A third of them were triple-jabbed.
"That's like still quite disappointing and we're really hoping that we can boost these numbers up. We found that vaccine hesitancy is especially a problem among allergy patients in Hong Kong," said Philip Li, an executive committee member of the association.
Li, who's a specialist in immunology and allergies at the University of Hong Kong, said many patients with allergies have been deterred by misconceptions about the jabs, but usually allergic conditions such as eczema, rhinitis or asthma are not directly affected.
"They might have already had a flare up of eczema despite not having a jab, and we also inform patients it's not actually because of the jab. Imagine if you really got genuine Covid and you didn't get the protection from the jab, in fact your [allergy] symptoms might even be worse than what they are now," he said.
Li also advised against making vaccination decisions solely based on allergy test reports.
"All of these tests are very specifically designed for certain types of people, they are the most accurate after choosing appropriate patients to do the tests on," he explained.
"If you just randomly do allergy tests, there's a lot of what we call false positive tests and this gives a lot of false information...it gives you the wrong idea and you're missing out on potentially life-saving vaccination."