On Tuesday (12th), Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said that he would invite new crown vaccine expert consultants and members of the Health Protection Center’s Vaccine Committee to have a meeting to listen to their opinions on the third injection or booster for citizens, including when it should be initiated and who should be targeted. .
"Vaccine bubbles", customs clearance and the establishment of protective barriers are the main targets of the "Policy Address" to fight the epidemic. In addition, in response to the third injection of the public by other countries, Hong Kong should not be left behind.
Compared with implementation, it seems more difficult to explain to the public the necessity of the third needle, and it will inevitably test the government's ability to communicate.
When society mentions booster and the third shot, it also refers to the third dose of vaccine, but the meaning is different. The booster is to vaccinate people whose antibodies against the new coronavirus have slipped over time. The third shot refers to the first two shots but the antibody People whose level has not reached the target.
There are three reasons why Hong Kong needs to "add injections" to some citizens.
Three factors help promote the third shot
The first is that WHO experts face up to the needs.
Prior to this, the WHO was quite resolute in opposing the third shot. In August, Director General Tedros Tedros still called on the country to suspend the booster for two months. The Hong Kong government experts also pointed out the third shot at the end of July. It's too early.
As of this Monday (11th), the WHO Vaccine Advisory Group issued new guidelines. On the one hand, people with inadequate immunity should be vaccinated with the third dose. On the other hand, people aged 60 or above who have completed the vaccination of Kexinghe Sinopharm should be recommended. Get the third shot to reduce the risk of infection.
Although the group still emphasized that most people should inject two doses first, its position on the third injection has softened.
The attitude of local medical experts towards the third dose has gradually become clear. For example, Liu Yulong, chairman of the Scientific Committee on Vaccine Preventable Diseases, believes that the elderly is suitable for vaccination. Another expert, Kong Fanyi, suggested that the third dose should be Fubitai vaccine.
As a matter of fact, more than half of the elderly people aged 60 or above who have been vaccinated in Hong Kong have chosen Kexing. A booster will help them protect them.
Looking around, countries such as the Mainland, Singapore, Canada, and the United States also "add needles" for specific groups.
Experts from the World Health Organization recently suggested that people 60 years of age or older who have completed the vaccination of China Kexing or Sinopharm should receive a third dose of the vaccine.
(Photo/Photo by Luo Guohui)
Second, when the "policy address" mentioned that "vaccine bubbles", customs clearance, and the establishment of protective barriers are the main anti-epidemic goals, "injection" is the way to achieve the goals.
As more countries intend to open up their borders, it is estimated that Hong Kong should be prepared for customs clearance. It is estimated that Hong Kong should be prepared for customs clearance. For example, Liu Yulong suggested that border inspection officers and transport drivers should also be targeted for booster vaccination.
When they have sufficient antibody levels, in case they are infected due to foreign import, it can also reduce severe illness and mortality.
Kong Fanyi advocated that the government should vaccinate the third shot of Fubitai vaccine. He believes that the "groove injection" is very safe, and Fubitai vaccine can provide more protection against the mutant virus than the Kexing vaccine.
Another advantage of promoting "additional injections" in Hong Kong is that the amount of vaccines is sufficient.
The government has purchased a total of 15 million doses of Coxing and Fubital vaccines, and announced on Monday that it will donate the 7.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines it has purchased to the Covid-19 Global Access Mechanism (COVAX).
Hong Kong need not worry too much about the amount of vaccines, and hope that the government and experts will make progress on the third dose of vaccination after the meeting.
Test the government's communication skills
Compared with resource considerations, the government has to think more about how to make designated targets willing to "add injections," because this will affect publicity for those who have not been vaccinated.
The Kaiser Family Foundation (Kaiser Family Foundation) published a survey last month. Among the Americans interviewed, 78% of those who have been vaccinated believe that boosters represent scientists' tireless efforts to make vaccines more effective.
Relatively speaking, 71% of those who have never been vaccinated and 69% of those with a “wait and see” attitude believe that boosters indicate that the vaccine is not as effective as expected.
In Hong Kong, vaccine hesitation is still common, especially among the elderly.
If the situation in the United States emerges in Hong Kong, the promotion of "additional injections" will make people more resistant to the first injection, which will hinder Hong Kong's vaccination rate and make it more difficult to achieve a protective barrier.
In his "Policy Address," Lam Cheng mentioned that many people claimed that the content of the government press release was "focused on technicality and lacked communication," and failed to attract the attention of the community or immediately clarify the doubts of the public.
If it decides to implement "additional injections," the government must plan how to dismantle more hesitating voices, and there is no room for loss in its propaganda strategy.
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