Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam stated on Monday that public officials, teachers, and healthcare workers must get vaccinated against the coronavirus or pay for frequent testing, as her administration pushed for mandatory vaccinations.
The financial center is one of the few cities in the world where significant supplies of the coronavirus vaccination have been acquired, but public uptake has been disappointing.
Only 36% of the city’s 7.5 million citizens had received two doses of vaccination after six months, while 48% have only received one.
Infections have remained low, however, because Hong Kong has been closed to non-residents for the most of the last 18 months, and all visitors must undertake a rigorous quarantine in approved hotels.
Carrie Lam, on Monday also unveiled a new initiative to boost the city’s immunization rate by making vaccinations mandatory for four groups: civil servants, healthcare professionals, care home staff, and school instructors.
Vaccination rates vary between those sectors – from 70 per cent among civil servants to just 47 per cent among teachers.