Semantron 23 Summer 2023

Vaccine hesitancy in Hong Kong

COVID-19 has struck the world. As of 21 April 2022, there have been more than 500 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, including more than 6 million deaths (World Health Organization, n.d.). As of 18 April 2022, a total of 11,324,805,837 vaccine doses have been administered (World Health Organization, n.d.). To curb the pandemic, it is crucial that most people are vaccinated. That is why WHO inferred speeding up COVID-19 vaccine uptake as one of the ten most important global health issues to track in 2021 (World Health Organization, 2020). It is particularly important to vaccinate the elderly first since they are the most vulnerable to COVID-19 disease. Unless vaccinated, people aged between 75-84 years old are 8 times more likely to be hospitalized and 140 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those who are 18-29 years old (Figure 1) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022). It has become clear that it is essential to vaccinate the elderly to prevent massive outbreaks, hospitalization, and deaths of COVID-19. Figure 1. Rate of hospitalization and death by age relative to 18-19 years old category (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022)

Many jurisdictions had devoted great effort to boost the coverage of the COVID-19 vaccine to the vulnerable older population. All the vaccine uptake data below were obtained on 20 November 2021. On that day, the United Kingdom had already vaccinated about 95% of its elderly population (Figure 2b) (National Immunisation Management System (NIMS), UK Health Security Agency, 2021). Similarly the United States (Figure 2a) (USA Facts, n.d.).

Figure 2a. Percentage of people by age receiving at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine or fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the US (USA Facts, n.d.)


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