Hong Kong may soon have to throw away millions of coronavirus vaccines as they are approaching their expiry date and not enough people have signed up for the jabs, an official warned.
Hong Kong is one of the few places in the world fortunate enough to have secured enough doses to innoculate its entire population of 7.5 million people.
But swirling distrust of the government as it stamps out dissent — combined with online misinformation and a lack of urgency in the comparatively virus-free city — has led to entrenched vaccine hesitancy and a dismal inoculation drive.
Last week, a member of the government’s vaccine task force warned Hong Kongers “only have a three-month window” before the city’s first batch of Pfizer vaccines go out of date.
Hong Kong bought 7.5 million doses each of Pfizer and China’s Sinovac. So far just 19% of the population has received one dose of either vaccine while 14% have received two doses.