Prof slams toxic vaccine disinformationTop News | Wallis Wang 5 Jan 2021
A University of Hong Kong microbiologist has hit out at a health expert who claims coronavirus vaccines do not offer any protection and could cause liver failure.
George Ku Siu-pui said in a video published by Hong Kong-based online media Master Insight on December 17 that vaccines cannot offer protection as the antibody IgG, produced by vaccines using mRNA technology, is in the blood instead of the lungs, and recommended two types of nutritional supplements.
In response, Siddharth Sridhar, a clinical assistant professor with the University of Hong Kong's department of microbiology, wrote on Facebook that Ku's position was "factually wrong."
The mRNA technology is used in the vaccines produced by BioNTech, one of three vaccines the Hong Kong government has purchased.
He said trial results have shown vaccines using mRNA technology provide more than 90 percent protection against Covid-19.
"IgG can protect against Covid-19 because it is also found in our alveolar epithelial fluid deep in the lungs, where we need protection against Covid-19," Sridhar said.
He also refuted Ku's claim that mRNA vaccines can trigger multiorgan fibrosis because the protein could get into the kidneys and liver.
"[There is] absolutely no theoretical or factual basis for Ku's claims," he said, adding that the mRNA vaccine degrades relatively quickly in the body.
"This is the most dangerous and toxic kind of vaccine disinformation, in which a person who appears to have some scientific training makes outrageous claims with a lot of pseudoscience on a whiteboard," Sridhar said.
The Food and Health Bureau said Ku's comments were not scientifically based and called on the public not to trust unverified online information.
Man Cheuk-fei, publisher and chief executive of Master Insight, said Ku is aware of Sridhar's criticism and will reply to it in another video.
Meanwhile, a survey conducted by the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong has found that around 67 percent of Hongkongers polled want to be inoculated voluntarily, 27 percent will refuse the jab and 6 percent are undecided.
The pro-Beijing party interviewed 1,150 Hongkongers by phone between December 21 and December 28.
The survey showed that 48 percent of those who do not want to get a jab are worried about side effects
It also found that 76 percent hope cross-border travel between Hong Kong, the mainland and Macau could resume as soon as possible.
Lawmaker Ben Chan Han-pan said the survey showed people's high confidence in the vaccines and urged authorities to make more clinical data available to enhance public confidence.
The party urged the government to discuss exempting Hongkongers who have been vaccinated from mandatory 14-day quarantines with mainland and Macau authorities.