Semantron 23 Summer 2023

Vaccine hesitancy in Hong Kong

thought that it was ‘likely’ to contract the virus. It shows that the two peaks of this subgroup were ‘likely’ and ‘nearly impossible’, indicating that some respondents might not be vaccinated even though

Figure 7b. Perceived susceptibility to COVID-19 in the vaccinated and unvaccinated groups

Perceived Susceptibility to COVID-19

0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% 60.00%

No plan for vaccination

Wait and See

Will vaccinate in 3 months


very likely likely medium not likely nearly impossible

don’t know

it is very possible to be infected as well as some might change to pro-vaccine when the chance of infection goes up. (Figure 7a, Figure 7b)


In order to lessen the burden on the healthcare system in Hong Kong, it is imperative to reduce COVID- 19 vaccine hesitancy and vaccinated more people so that fewer COVID-19 cases will occur. Even if it occurs, vaccines can prevent severe symptoms or death so that less pressure is put on the healthcare system. After gathering all the results, there were five most critical factors influencing vaccine hesitancy amongst elderly in Hong Kong, which were perception of side effect, perception of effectiveness, family support, knowledge, and perceived susceptibility. Perception of the effectiveness of vaccines has proven to be one of the most critical factors of vaccine hesitancy among the elderly in Hong Kong. This study has shown that the unvaccinated person tends to underestimate the effectiveness of vaccine to prevent hospitalization and death. This corresponded to research about influenza vaccine hesitancy amongst Chinese elderly in Hong Kong, demonstrating that the higher the perceived benefits of vaccine, the greater the vaccine acceptance. In this study, while more than half of the respondents were confident about the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, which is not terrible, it was not ideal either. One possible reason was the lack of advocating of the benefits and efficacy of the 2 vaccines provided, which are Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinovac, in Hong Kong. According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevent, ‘ two-dose vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19- associated hospitalisation was 73%-94% ’ (Nicola P. Klein, et al., 2022). Research also revealed that if vaccinated, the risk of death could be reduced by 20% (Callaghan CJ, 2022). As the facts showed, COVID-19 vaccines were far from ineffective, and its benefits should be promoted more significantly. One opportunity to do so is at COVID-19 briefing which happens nearly every day. Statistics that are perceived more reliable should be known by the public. For instance, between 27 December 2021 and 23 January 2022 in Hong Kong, around 156.5 unvaccinated people out of 100,000 people died whereas


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