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Unvaccinated people twice as likely to catch Covid, HK figures show

15 September 2021

By The SUN 

Vaccination is effective in warding off Covid-19 infection, HK figures show

Figures released by the Department of Health show that there were about twice as many unvaccinated people who were infected with Covid-19 in Hong Kong in the past three months as those who were fully vaccinated.

The figures were released by Health Secretary Sophia Chan, during a question and answer session at the Legislative Council earlier today.

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The DH figures she supplied showed that during the period from June to August this year, Hong Kong recorded 271 confirmed cases of Covid-19, out of which 91 were fully vaccinated, while 180 did not get vaccinated or had not yet completed the vaccination course.

The figures are shown below:

 

 
 

No. of cases which had completed the vaccination course

No. of cases which did not get vaccinated or had not yet completed the vaccination course

Total no. of confirmed cases

June

9

73

82

July

17

44

61

August

65

63

128

Total

91

180

271

  

The data also showed a progressive increase in the number of vaccinated people coming in with the coronavirus. However, an overwhelming number did not experience any symptoms.

Meanwhile, one imported case was reported in Hong Kong today, involving a fully vaccinated woman who flew in from the United Kingdom. The 45-year-old patient received two doses of the Sinovac vaccine in May.

She had no symptoms, but tested positive for the virus during quarantine at Nina Hotel Island South in Wong Chuk Hang.

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Dr Chan said that out of the 91 patients in the three-month period who were fully vaccinated, 77 percent had no symptoms while 22 percent reported having symptoms on the day of report or earlier. The rest, or 1 percent of the cases, had left Hong Kong at the time of diagnosis.

Recovery among those who were fully jabbed appears to be quick as well. Figures from the Hospital Authority show that in the past three months preceding Sept 8, there were 263 cases admitted to public hospitals for treatment, out of which 245 cases had recovered and had been discharged.

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“Out of the cases which completed the vaccination course, their conditions remained stable during hospitalization,” said Chan.

“As regards the cases which did not get vaccinated or had not yet completed the vaccination course, one case was for a time in critical condition during hospitalisation. The other cases all had stable conditions.”

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Chan also said that while there is growing evidence that vaccines may not provide full protection against highly transmissible variants like Delta, vaccination still provides the best safeguard against people getting seriously ill or even dying from Covid-19.

She also said that as of Sept 13, about 8.19 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines had been administered to members of the public, of whom about 4.35 million have received their first dose, accounting to about 64.6 percent of the eligible population.  

Chan says the elderly could suffer the most if a 5th wave happens in HK

However, the vaccination rate among the elderly remains low, which is a cause for concern. She reiterated various research data that show that for the elderly and high-risk individuals, the risk of death or severe complications brought by Covid-19 infection is much higher than the side effects of vaccination.

She warned that the elderly and other immunocompromised individuals would be most at risk “if the fifth wave unfortunately strikes Hong Kong” as they could not get vaccinated in time. This, she said, could lead to large-scale outbreaks and a large number of critical cases, even deaths.

In a separate session, Chan ruled out conducting extensive antibody tests for vaccinated persons, saying it is “unnecessary.” The offer to do antibody tests was originally made to incoming travelers to shorten their quarantine period, but has now been abandoned amid findings that some people who test positive for the tests still acquire Covid-19.

Chan also said that the experts panel advising the government on its vaccination program has decided that it still premature to decide if and when a third dose should be recommended for the general public.

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