Top infectious disease experts in Hong Kong have said it would be impossible to achieve herd immunity given the Covid-19 coronavirus’ constantly mutating strains. They urged Hongkongers to get vaccinated as soon as possible before the city moves towards the direction of “co-existing with the virus.”

Meanwhile, Hong Kong students aged over 12 will be able to receive Covid-19 vaccinations at community vaccination centres with same-day tickets starting on Friday.

Photo: HK Gov.

In an opinion article published in Ming Pao on Wednesday, University of Hong Kong microbiologists Yuen Kwok-yung, David Lung and Kelvin Chiu argued that it would be impossible to eradicate the Covid-19 coronavirus in the long term.

It took 184 years after the smallpox vaccine was invented before the airborne disease disappeared world wide. It remains the only disease that was successfully eradicated in human history, and it would be even more difficult to eliminate the Covid-19 virus owing to asymptomatic patients, the trio wrote.

With the eligible population vaccination rate nearing 50 per cent, Hongkongers should get vaccinated as soon as they can while the city’s zero-infection streak lasts, they argued, thanks to the government’s containment measures, which buy time to boost the vaccination rate.

Buying time

Meanwhile, vaccination appointment tickets will be handed out to students above 12 years old, from 7:45 a.m. every day at 24 of the city’s public community vaccination centres (CVC) on a first-come, first-served basis.

Professor Yuen Kwok-yung (second from left). Photo: GovHK.

The measure will allow students at primary, secondary or tertiary education levels to receive Covid-19 vaccinations within the day, an arrangement expanded from covering only those over 70, to students over 12 and anyone over 60.

Students below 17 years of age must bring a signed parental consent form in order to receive the vaccine. They will only be offered the German-developed BioNTech vaccine.

“As the summer holiday is coming to an end, we hope that this arrangement will help students and their parents who have not yet received vaccination to get vaccinated,” a government spokesman said in a statement on Wednesday.

Three CVCs at Queen Elizabeth Stadium, Ap Lei Chau Sports Centre and Hong Kong International Airport will distribute same-day tickets for first doses until August 31, after which they will only offer second doses.

Locations of Community Vaccination Centres (CVCs) that distribute the same-day tickets

Fosun /BioNTech “Comirnaty” vaccine — Available to teenagers aged 12-years or above
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park Sports Centre
Sai Wan Ho Sports Centre
Queen Elizabeth Stadium#
Ap Lei Chau Sports Centre#
Hiu Kwong Street Sports Centre
Choi Hung Road Badminton Centre
Education Bureau Kowloon Tong Education Services Centre
Ho Man Tin Sports Centre
Lai Chi Kok Park Sports Centre
Boundary Street Sports Centre
Lung Sum Avenue Sports Centre
Tai Po Hui Sports Centre
Tseung Kwan O Sports Centre
Tung Chung Community Hall
Hong Kong International Airport#
Osman Ramju Sadick Memorial Sports Centre
Tsuen King Circuit Sports Centre
Yau Oi Sports Centre
Yuen Long Sports Centre

#These three community vaccination centres will continue to provide the first dose of vaccines and distribute same-day tickets until August 31.

Sinovac vaccine “CoronaVac” — Available to adults aged 18-years or above
Hong Kong Central Library (To be relocated to Java Road Sports Centre on October 1)
Kwun Chung Sports Centre
Kowloon Bay Sports Centre
Yuen Wo Road Sports Centre
Tin Fai Road Sports Centre

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Selina Cheng

Selina Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist who previously worked with HK01, Quartz and AFP Beijing. She also covered the Umbrella Movement for AP and reported for a newspaper in France. Selina has studied investigative reporting at the Columbia Journalism School.