Published: 2021-11-22

Several of the School’s researchers are contributing to the university-wide “Overcoming Vaccine Hesitancy in Hong Kong”, which aims to provide authorities with timely incremental research findings to help them formulate more effective communication tactics promoting vaccination.

Vaccination is the key to winning the battle against the novel coronavirus. It primes the human immune system to fight against the disease infection and that builds a firewall to counter the spread of the virus through society. Governments around the globe have been racing to vaccinate their nationals against COVID-19 since December, 2020. Despite being in the midst of recursive outbreaks and virus mutation, as of the 25th of June 2021 only 20.0% of Hong Kong’s population had received both doses of a vaccine, far below the globally-recognized threshold of at least 80% to achieve herd immunity.

The HKSAR government launched an “Early Vaccination for All” campaign at the end of May in an attempt to accelerate the pace of vaccination. It included rewarding government employees who get vaccinated with one day of vaccination leave, relaxing social distance measures for those who have been vaccinated and organizing lucky draws with the business sector as a reward. However, Hong Kong residents tend to be better motivated by health concerns rather than money, and the population’s general vaccine hesitancy calls for solutions that address underlying reasons for hesitancy rather than merely offering incentives.

The “Overcoming Vaccine Hesitancy in Hong Kong” initiative funded by the Hong Kong Baptist University aims to immediately share the incremental findings of up-to-date research on vaccine hesitancy to help the authorities formulate more effective communication tactics promoting vaccination. It will support relevant research, and also encourage the university’s faculty and students to be aware of public health challenges and to contribute their knowledge and skills to seeking potential solutions.

For more details visit the project website.