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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Vaccine hesitancy 'runs in the family'

Vaccine hesitancy 'runs in the family'

The elderly's reluctance to receive a Covid jab is associated with a corresponding vaccine hesitancy among their adult children, a Hong Kong Baptist University study found.
Researchers interviewed over 1,600 adults online between March 16 and 21. The survey's results indicated that the earlier the children got vaccinated, the higher the chance of their parents being fully vaccinated. Among children who had taken a booster shot, 61.6 percent of their parents were fully vaccinated.

For unvaccinated interviewees or those who had only received one jab, only 6.7 percent of their parents aged 60 or above were fully vaccinated.

"The more the respondents believed the vaccine could cause severe side effects such as facial paralysis, allergies, blood clots, or even death, the more likely their parents were to delay vaccination," researchers said. They added that the short time it took for the vaccines to be developed and the conflicting advice given by infectious-disease experts can also be contributing to vaccine hesitancy.

Vaccine hesitancy among children will not only postpone their parents' vaccination, researchers said, but it will also hinder vaccination-outreach schemes.

The team said medical professionals should emphasize the safety of the vaccines, adding that there should be explanations regarding the background of vaccine development to address concerns over the vaccines' rapid development.

Meanwhile, several organizations provided vaccination-outreach services to elderly citizens and children over the weekend.

The service, co-organized by eight groups including the Home Affairs Department, was offered at Sau Mau Ping Community Hall, Fukien Secondary School Affiliated School, Lam Tin (East) Community Hall and Shun Lee Estate Community Centre. Door-to-door vaccination services were also offered to elderly and handicapped citizens.

A 71-year-old woman, Siu, made use of the service. Siu, who lives alone in Sau Mau Ping Estate, said she had not gotten vaccinated thus far as she does not know how to make online reservations and has difficulties moving around. Siu noted that the service "was very good as the staff were very careful."

The organizers expect some 2,000 people were inoculated during the two-day service.

Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip Tak-kuen said he welcomed organizations to provide vaccination services to the public.
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