Last month, we launched our Hong Kong We Can Do It! Lucky Draw. Thanks to the generosity of members, we have a fantastic range of prizes up for grabs, which to date are valued at around HK43 million.
We hope that the chance to win one of these prizes will be an incentive for more Hong Kong people to get vaccinated – and a reward for those who have already had their jabs.
HKGCC strongly supports the vaccination programme because we know that once the city reaches herd immunity – where most people have been inoculated – the virus will not be able to spread. This is the only way that Hong Kong can remove the pandemic-related restrictions and enable life to return to normal.
There is also another, very important, reason. There is a small number of people who genuinely cannot be vaccinated for health reasons. Those of us who have been vaccinated already can breathe a sigh of relief, as we are now much less likely to catch Covid or get seriously ill if we do get infected. But for those who cannot be vaccinated, Hong Kong will never be safe until herd immunity is reached.
Hong Kong has done a tremendous job of preventing community transmission. But I’m sure we have all seen the recent news about fresh outbreaks and soaring case numbers in places like Singapore, Japan, Australia and Taiwan.
These places, like Hong Kong, had initially been successful in keeping the virus under control. Such new waves of community infections show that, even with very strict border controls and quarantine, it is almost impossible to entirely prevent cases from getting through. Especially as the various new Covid-19 variants may be more transmissible and their outcomes less predictable.
Even if only one infected person slips through the net in Hong Kong, with our current low rate of vaccination, Covid-19 could spread rapidly. But once we reach herd immunity, the virus would be stopped – and ultimately there would be a very low risk of it reaching the most vulnerable people.
The past 18 months has been a stressful time for all of us, as we worry about catching Covid-19, worry about job security, worry about not being able to travel, worry about not being able to see ageing parents at care homes, worry about the impact on children’s education and mental well-being. For some Hong Kong citizens, such as the elderly and those with chronic illnesses, the fear of getting infected by the virus are even more acute.
To protect yourself, and more importantly, to protect those who are more vulnerable, the Chamber urges all citizens who are able to get their shots to do so. Vaccination is the only way forward that will enable every member of the community to return to normal life.