Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Let's work to end the Wuhan coronavirus nightmare with the (BioNTech) vaccine!

A rare Hong Kong government exhortation that I'm on board with
Booklets I was given when I went to get vaccinated
Two more "ambush lockdowns" are currently underway in Hong Kong tonight.  This time around, they involve buildings close to the China Liason Office over in Sai Ying Pun and a couple of others in Causeway Bay.  And I'm expecting that, like so many others (like those which were staged this past Monday night), there will turn out to be zero positive cases of the Wuhan coronavirus found.
Ironically, the rare times where the lockdowns have found cases of infection have included one which involved a building in which a friend of mine is a resident -- and another, staged a few days ago, where the two confirmed cases turned out to be American Consulate staffers!  With regards to the latter: a diplomatic incident of sorts threatened to blast off after Chinese state media publishing "disinformation" about American diplomatic staffers in Hong Kong.  It seems to have been averted for now though -- but it remains to be seen what will ensue in the wake of the US government having separately gone ahead and sanctioned 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials over Beijing's ongoing crackdown on the city, ahead of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's meeting with top Chinese diplomats in Alaska later this week.  
While Washington has been issuing these sanctions, the US Consulate General in Hong Kong has been closed "to perform a deep disinfection and cleaning" this week.  And today saw the temporary closure of the HSBC's main office in Central for similar reasons after three coronavirus cases were linked to the site.  
Despite these eye-catching developments though, there is genuine hope that a fifth wave has been averted and the fourth wave is ebbing, despite developing quite the tail thanks to the URSUS Gym cluster (which now stands at 132 cases: 7 staff, 87 customers and 38 close contacts).  For the record: the number of new daily infections this week have gone from gone from 30 on Monday down to 18 yesterday (Tuesday) and down again to 11 today (Wednesday); with the number of local cases in the past six days being on a definite downward trend from 59 to 43, to 24, then to 16, then to 13 and 8.
With the Sinovac vaccine being found to just have a 50.4% efficacy though, I really don't understand why any reasonably sane person would opt for it anyway when the BioNTech vaccine, which has a far higher efficacy rate, is available in Hong Kong.  Of course, in an ideal world, the Hong Kong government would not have purchased the Sinovac vaccine and administered it to people who are 60 years of age or more -- the latter of which is not being done over in Mainland China.  But I guess the Hong Kong government is trying to show Beijing how patriotic it is by purchasing a Chinese vaccine and innoculating its people, including several government officials, with it.    

So strong is the distrust that the majority of the local populace have for the Hong Kong government that there are people who actually aren't going to get shots because they are afraid that when they opt for the BioNTech vaccine, they'll end up being given the Sinovac.  Hence questions being asked like: "are prospective vaccine recipients allowed to see the bottles and therefore the brands of vaccines being used at certain clinics?"  -- and my fear that Hong Kong is not going to achieve herd immunity any time soon.
Ideally, the government will take pains to win back the people's trust.  But when it's led by Carrie Lam, that seems really unlikely, I'm afraid.  This is the woman, after all, who, just today, decided to berate the public for not working with her administration to tackle the pandemic!  Virologist Jasnah Kholin -- ACAB was moved to respond to Carrie Lam's latest complaints with the following thread of comments on Twitter (beginning here) which I think bears quoting in its entirety: 
look, i'm incredibly frustrated by our relatively low vaccine uptake too, but for fuck's sake. when will you realize you cannot threaten people into public health compliance, particularly if they rightfully have no trust in your administration? 

like between the ambush lockdown-tests that seem to have absolutely *zero* utility in outbreak control but are quite good at traumatizing people, to the Sinovac approval on no data, to the idiotic mass testing last Sept., TO DIRECTLY CAUSING OUR THIRD WAVE...

...your admin has an astoundingly godawful track record at "fighting the virus" & the question of "why the hell should we work with you?" is one that is honestly extremely reasonable to raise. it just so happens this time it's for something vital, but guess what...


i am as pro-vax as they get. again, i urge anyone eligible who hasn't registered to get the Pfizer/BioNTech shot. there's still tons of open slots at Ap Lei Chau, for instance. but threats are not how you get people to do this. FFS. 

  (And for the record: Yes, I'm pro-vax too and have got my first BioNTech shot already!)

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