2 out of 5 Hong Kong youth say no to COVID-19 vaccine: Survey

Stock photo. Photo: Pexels/Cottonbro
Stock photo. Photo: Pexels/Cottonbro

Two out of five young people in Hong Kong will not take the COVID-19 vaccine, a survey finds, with the vaccine’s efficacy and place of origin among major concerns.

Results of the survey, released Sunday, showed that 40.8% of the respondents said that they will not get vaccinated. Just 8% said they “definitely” would.

The survey was conducted by Youth New World, a charity tackling poverty in the city. The group surveyed 412 people below the age of 30 via an online questionnaire during the last week of December.

Among those who expressed reservations about the vaccine, 81% said they have doubts about its effectiveness while 72% are worried about potential side effects.

The Hong Kong government said in December that it has secured a total of 22.5 million vaccine doses, with 7.5 million doses each from Pfizer-BioNTech, Sinovac and AstraZeneca.

Read more: Lawmakers call for $5,000 handout to encourage COVID-19 vaccination

Over half of the respondents are concerned about the vaccine’s origins. One of the vaccines, the mainland China-made Sinovac, is yet to publish third-phase data ascertaining its safety and efficacy.

Hong Kong is expected to start its vaccination program in February. A government insider said the first jabs will be of whichever brand arrives in the city first, the South China Morning Post reported.

According to the SCMP, the city’s officials faced pressure from the pro-establishment camp to purchase at least one vaccine from a mainland producer. The government has denied the claim, explaining that the vaccine procurement is “solely based on prevailing scientific evidence.”

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