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HK distrusts Sinovac jab

Republika

Hong Kong residents were reported to be less trusting of Chinese-made Covid19 vaccines as opposed to those made in the US or Europe, according to a survey done by the University of Hong Kong.


Less than 30% of people asked believed that Sinovac was a satisfactory choice. It also found that general acceptance of the vaccine was low: 29.5% accepted it whereas 56% trusted Pfizer-BioNTech and 35% trusted Oxford-AstraZeneca. Only 46% were willing to receive Sinopharm’s vaccine.


Hong Kong’s 7.5 million doses of the Chinese drug were initially expected to arrive last month but the delivery was delayed as the government said that it was waiting for further clinical information.


Instead, the administrative region early this week gave the thumbs-up on the use of a Fosun Pharma-BioNTech jab, the first to be accepted in the city. Fosun is BioNTech’s partner in Greater China, which is in charge of cold-chain management, storage and distribution. One million doses are slated to arrive in the second half of this month.


So far, Hong Kong has reserved 22.5 million vaccine doses from Fosun Pharma-BioNTech, Sinovac and AstraZeneca, city chief Carrie Lam said.


The former British colony’s anti-government, anti-China protests early last year caused much of the distrust of the Chinese vaccine, especially as it appeared that Beijing was attempting to keep the region under its thumb.


“How do you repair a trust deficit?” asked Professor Gabriel Leung, dean of the University of Hong Kong’s medical school. “I think there is only one way, and that’s openness and really allowing science to lead.”


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