Vaccine to cover 70 percent of population by end of 2021 David Hui

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Hong Kong may be able to obtain Covid-19 vaccines by the second quarter of next year, with 70 percent of the population covered by the end of 2021, a government adviser said. 

David Hui Shu-cheong, respiratory medicine expert from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said there are 35 Covid-19 vaccines across the world that are undergoing clinical trials, nine of them have entered clinical trial phase three. 

Hui said in a radio program today that chances for Hong Kong to secure Covid-19 vaccines are quite high.

He estimates that Covid-19 vaccines manufacturers will gradually complete trials by the end of this year. Hong Kong may be able to obtain vaccines by the second quarter of next year.

Priorities will be given to vaccinating the elderly, chronically ill patients, and medical staff. Hui added he expects that from the end of next year to early 2022, 60 to 70 percent of people in Hong Kong will be vaccinated.

Procurement of Covid-19 vaccines will not be affected by the problems appeared from Oxford University's vaccines clinical trial, he said.

The number of vaccines purchased by the Hong Kong government through international mechanisms is sufficient for 35 percent of the population in Hong Kong, the government has to directly purchase vaccines on their own for the rest of the 65 percent of the population,” Hui said. 

Hui said there is no need for Hong Kong to allocate resources specifically to implement universal Covid-19 testing. He added it is of utmost importance to strengthen preventive measures at the border control to avoid the next wave of epidemics.

As about 30 percent of the cases appearing from the third wave of Covid-19 are of unknown sources, Hui said the public should be more alert. 

He added the Hong Kong government may consider relaxing the restriction to allow six people per table, given that there are no outbreaks within two weeks of the relaxation of social distancing measures and that the number of confirmed cases and cases of unknown sources remain low.