For the past couple of years, 62-year-old Stella had made sure that she got vaccinated against influenza every winter. She will be doing it this year too. But she says she may hold off for a while if a vaccine for Covid-19 is offered this year. She is worried that the Hong Kong government will bring in vaccines produced by Chinese companies which she doesn’t trust.
Such fears about vaccine safety and scepticism about government policies are bound to become hurdles for the authorities, not just in Hong Kong, but everywhere.
Even before the advent of Covid-19, scepticism about vaccines was on the rise across the world and in 2019 the World Health Organization listed it as one of the major threats to global health. Add to this the countless controversies surrounding the virus – from its origin to ways to tackle it, from use of face masks to medical treatments.