According to local health officials, Hong Kong executives, as well as outsiders, will choose China’s Synovac vaccine in the hope of making it more effective than Bioentech / Pfizer, assuring that the process of visas and re-entry for mainland China will be expedited.
The move follows a remarkable proposal from Beijing to provide “visa facilitation” for foreign visitors who choose to be vaccinated in China rather than as foreigners. The proposal raises concerns Vaccine nationalism During the epidemic
A Hong Kong-based executive at a U.S. company said he chose Sinovak’s job “perfectly” because of his business acumen. “I believe it will get better treatment for getting my visa,” he said.
“[My expat friends] Everyone thinks that there is no point in getting Synovac if the efficiency rate of Bioentech is too high. “But I need to start my journey.”
Although Hong Kong is part of China, they retain a passport control border as part of the autonomy granted to the region during the transfer from the United Kingdom in 1999.
The wider community in Hong Kong has shown it a Reluctant attitude Towards the government’s vaccination program, because of the inherent distrust of the government among many people and the concern about the safety of jabs.
However, officials at some agencies have become more interested in considering whether the synovic vaccine should increase access to the mainland. During the epidemic, China imposed strict travel bans on people wishing to enter from Hong Kong Some discounts.
“Visa benefits only apply to applicants who have been inoculated with the Covid-19 vaccine produced in China,” the Chinese government said last month without giving further details about the vaccines.
Yet some were concerned that European and other Western governments would not accept it Vaccines made in China For inconsistent travel.
Iceland, one of the first countries Inconsistent travel For vaccinated visitors, only vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency or the World Health Organization will be recognized. No shots made by China are on the list of the two.
Young Chiu-Fat, a general practitioner and former president of the Hong Kong Physicians’ Union, said he had vaccinated more than 200 people with the synovac jab since the program began in late February.
About 30 percent took the vaccine to help them return to mainland China. “They were quite excited,” he said.
Another Hong Kong executive said returning to China was “essential” to his job, so he had to choose Sinovak Jab.
William Chui, president of The Society of Hospital Pharmacists, said some patients joked about the “mix-and-match” approach as they could travel to China and elsewhere as a first job as a synovac and a second as biotech. “But as a pharmacist, I don’t recommend it,” he said.
Many international executives are based in Hong Kong, but most of their businesses are in mainland.
Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce warns of mainland travel ban Is hitting the city’s attractions As the basis of the companies ’China operations, some functions are considered to be relocated to Shanghai or elsewhere.
In addition to its low efficacy rate, Sinovac also has Face charges The release of data on the Phase 3 trial has not been clear enough. A panel of government experts in Hong Kong said that after a 22-day break, a second dose of the vaccine would increase the shot’s effectiveness to 622.3 percent.
Health authorities in Singapore said the Synovac jab failed to provide them with enough information for the assessment and they wanted more information.
Sinovac did not immediately respond to a request for comment.