Hong Kong has the highest number of respondents who hold this view among the 11 markets surveyed, and this was markedly higher than the global average of 42%.
The attitude of people in Hong Kong towards the COVID-19 vaccine has slightly improved between April and May 2021, with the acceptance rate increasing by 3% from 40% to 43%, according to Cigna's latest COVID-19 Vaccine Perception Study.
The rate, however, was still far lower than the global average of 69%, making it the lowest among the 11 markets surveyed, namely, Mainland China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, UAE, UK, and the US.
Overall, the survey shows that more Hong Kong residents have been vaccinated or are willing to get vaccinated. The vaccination rate increased from 12% to 18% between April and May 2021, while 32% of the unvaccinated respondents also expressed their willingness to get the jab.
In fact, the vaccination rate within the age group of 25-34 has significantly increased, doubling from 5% to 11% between April and May 2021.
Those ages 55 and older are most willing to get vaccinated, with 23% of them claiming that they have been vaccinated in May 2021. The lowest ratio is found in the age group of 18-24, with only 3% said they or someone they knew have been vaccinated.
A “desire to travel”, a “sense of community spirit” and a “duty to the society”, as well as news on the COVID-19 vaccines are the major motivators that are currently encouraging those in Hong Kong to get vaccinated.
In terms of trusted information sources, compared to unvaccinated respondents, vaccinated respondents are more likely to trust information from family doctors, government bodies, and private healthcare insurance providers rather than information from TV news, friends and family, journalists, and social media.
Although vaccine hesitancy in the city declined notably from 70% to 64% in a month, many people still want to "wait and see". Hong Kong has the highest number of respondents who hold such an attitude among the 11 markets surveyed, and this was markedly higher than the global average of 42%.
The concerns? Well, side effects from the vaccine (87%) are the top concern among people in Hong Kong; only a quarter (27%) of the unvaccinated believe the vaccines available are very safe, with 34% agreeing that vaccines can protect them from getting COVID-19, compared to 76% and 85% respectively of those vaccinated.
Furthermore, out of the 82% of unvaccinated respondents in Hong Kong, 12% state that they cannot be persuaded to get the vaccines.
The 11 markets in the study include China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, UAE, UK, and the US.
More than 150 days since the implementation of the vaccination programme, Hong Kong has seen more than 60,000 people getting vaccinated over the seven-day moving average, according to the statistics from the Government.
So far, nearly 50% of the eligible population in Hong Kong has already been vaccinated, with more than three million people having received their first dose, and over two million having been fully vaccinated.
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