‘HK people should be ashamed of low vaccination rate’

A leading medical professor said on Sunday that many Hong Kong people should be “ashamed of themselves” for not getting inoculated against Covid-19, when people around the world were dying because of a shortage of vaccines.

Lam Tai-hing from the University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health said, although vaccines were highly accessible, the SAR – at around 20-percent – had one of the lowest inoculation rates in the world.

“I think Hong Kong people should be ashamed of themselves in not contributing to herd immunity. The whole world depends on vaccination…. Hong Kong should set a good example to the whole world, not a bad example,” the professor said after attending a radio programme.

He said Hong Kong should donate its unused vaccines to places that needed them before they expire and go to waste.

Lam said the government should consider following in the footsteps of the United States by allowing fully-vaccinated people to go mask-free in open spaces.

“This is a public health measure, it has nothing to do with discrimination. If you’re not vaccinated, then you pose a risk to yourself and others, and to the community,” he said.

“It is science-based. Unvaccinated people have much higher risk compared to vaccinated people. The restriction should be proportionate to the risk they pose to themselves and others.”

Lam added that if people were treated the same, regardless of whether they’d been vaccinated or not, it would send the wrong message that jabs were ineffective.

He said there was a small amount of risk in getting vaccinated but that people should nevertheless be inoculated in the public interest.