A top government adviser on Covid-19 vaccines said on Saturday that the SAR could begin easing border restrictions if vaccination rates goes up, especially among elderly people.
Speaking after a radio programme, Ivan Hung said an inoculation rate of about 85 percent was needed to protect the community because of the fact patients with the Delta variant would infect more people than those with other strains of the virus.
“If we are able to bring up the vaccination rate to 80 percent or above, especially among the elderly, then we will reach the criteria that we can gradually relax the infection control measures,” he said.
“For example, the quarantine period [for people] returning from overseas could be shortened perhaps to seven days for the majority of the countries, apart from those high-risk countries.”
He added that people could also take down their masks off outdoors, while full-day school classes and visits to care homes for elderly people could resume as well.
The University of Hong Kong academic said elderly people don’t need to overly worry about the side effects of the jab, saying only 10 percent of the 569 people who had experienced serious adverse effects due to or possibly due to the Covid vaccine in Hong Kong were aged 70 or above.
Hung said the BioNTech jab may be more suitable for the elderly than Sinovac. He said half of the people experiencing serious adverse effects had the BioNTech vaccine, of whom only 20 percent were aged over 60. By comparison, of those who had adverse effects after Sinovac jabs, 50 percent were over 60.
The latest government figures show that 60 percent of those aged 12 and over had received at least one shot, but only 35 percent of people aged between 70 and 79 had done so, with an even lower 11 percent for those aged 80 or above.
Last updated: 2021-08-28 HKT 19:09