Online amateur experts debate the relative merits of Moderna, AstraZeneca, J&J, etc as if they’re discussing Bordeaux vineyards. All I know is that I have a choice between a Chinese vaccine and another one, and my doctor advises the latter because ‘people seem to die’ (her words) after getting the former. Even our patriotic government is now admitting Sinovac might not be best for everyone.
For all that government’s faults, the front-line civil service can still organize big blockbuster projects. The procedure at the Sun Yat Sen Park Sports Centre vaccination place yesterday was a bit bureaucratic (I showed my ID card three times), but smooth and friendly. Before you get the jab, someone asks about allergies etc (say no if it’s just Hong Kong dust-sneezing), whether you’re a Yuu member – and which vaccine you have signed up for. They only offer one at each site, so this is some sort of backside-covering. But I hadn’t expected the question.
I mumbled something like ‘Comitatus? Comintern? You know – Pfizer. Not the Commie crap’. (This might help jog the memory. A branding company…) Then I was handed over to a reassuringly middle-aged Hospitals Authority nurse to administer the dose. Of course the ID card device wouldn’t read my latest-version chip (where are they manufactured, I wonder), so she had to input the details manually. The jab itself takes seconds. You tell her she and her colleagues are doing an excellent job, and they send you to sit quietly in contemplation for a quarter of an hour in case something goes Horribly Wrong.
The Hong Kong public sector’s money-no-object hiring policies obviously help make this a pleasant customer experience. Most boring job in the place: watching over people not having seizures and remembering when each one’s 15 minutes are up.
Was it my imagination, or was the proportion of Westerners coming for jabs there noticeably higher than a typical cross-section of the local community?
Here’s some expert comment on Hong Kong’s test-tracing and quarantine systems, including a reminder that while Sinovac does a good job of protecting people from serious illness/death (give or take a few elderly who keel over having it), it is only 50% effective in preventing actual infection. Slight snag: people with only mild symptoms can still transmit the virus to others. How can anyone trust a government that pushes this vaccine over clearly superior ones, just to grovel to the CCP?
David Webb has a go at Hong Kong’s inbound quarantine mess. (But at least it’s administered efficiently and with a smile.)
Vaccines are the ultimate in preventive medicine and have probably saved hundreds of millions of lives over the years. If you are ‘against’ them, you’re a moron (to be polite). I carry a historic reminder with me at all times: the scar just at the top right of my bandage is from a vaccination against smallpox before an overseas trip when I was a kid…