Cigna Study Shows Improvement in Vaccine Acceptance in Hong Kong

Desire to travel a key motivation for Hong Kongers

HONG KONG, July 26, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Cigna Hong Kong released today the Hong Kong findings of the latest COVID-19 Vaccine Perception Study. This report is the third and final chapter of a three-part series, which aims to track perceptions and attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccines around the world. Over 13,000 people across 11 markets around the world, including Hong Kong, were surveyed in this installment.

The latest report finds that the acceptance of the COVID-19 vaccine in Hong Kong has slightly improved by 3% between April and May 2021, rising to 43% from 40%, but was lower than the global average of 69%. Hong Kong also has the lowest rates of acceptance among the 11 markets surveyed.

Increased vaccination rate in Hong Kong

More people in Hong Kong have received the vaccine, with the vaccination rate increasing from 12% to 18% between April and May 2021. 32% of the unvaccinated respondents also expressed that they would be willing to get the jab.

Furthermore, a significant increase in vaccination rate can also be found within the age group of 25-34, with rates doubling from 5% to 11% in just one month between April and May 2021. Those ages 55 and older has the highest vaccination rate, with 23% of the respondents in this group claiming that they have been vaccinated in May 2021, compared to only 17% in April 2021. The lowest ratio is found in the age group of 18-24, with only 3% of respondents said that they or someone they knew have been vaccinated.

Decline in vaccine hesitancy

Attitudes towards the vaccine has not changed drastically over the study period. In general, Hong Kong people are aware of the information on COVID-19 vaccine. Most respondents (73%) said that they are following the news on the COVID-19 vaccines very closely, although there was a slight decreased of 2% compared to in April 2021, and 64% believe that a vaccine will be readily accessible to them, a marked increase from 59% measured in April 2021.

Although there was a notable decline in vaccine hesitancy in Hong Kong, dropping from 70% in April to 64% in May 2021, the number of respondents who hold the "wait and see" attitude in the city still ranked number one out of the 11 markets surveyed, and was markedly higher than the global average of 42%. The top concern is side effects from vaccine (87%) and the percentage of respondents claiming to not know enough about the vaccine also increased to 41% in May from 38% in the month prior.

Vaccine safety and effectiveness caused diverging views

Diverging views on the safety of the vaccines between vaccinated and unvaccinated respondents are found. Only 27% of the unvaccinated believe the vaccines available are very safe, compared to 76% of those vaccinated. Perceptions on the effectiveness of the vaccines also differed, with 34% of the unvaccinated agreeing that vaccines can protect them from getting COVID-19, compared to 85% of the vaccinated. Surprisingly, the unvaccinated respondents are just as worried as the vaccinated respondents about contracting (60% of the unvaccinated versus 56% of the vaccinated) and transmitting (78% of the unvaccinated versus 84% of the vaccinated) the virus.

In terms of trusted information sources, vaccinated respondents are more likely to trust information from family doctors, government bodies and private healthcare insurance provider compared to unvaccinated respondents. In contrast, vaccinated respondents are less likely than unvaccinated respondents to trust information from TV news, friends and family, journalists, and social media.

Jonathan Spiers, CEO and Country Manager, Cigna Hong Kong, said: "As the COVID-19 vaccines have been rolled out in Hong Kong for a period of time, we are glad that the vaccination rates have improved and that we are one step closer to achieving herd immunity. As a trusted health and well-being partner of our customers, Cigna understands the concerns that the Hong Kong community may have around the vaccines. Therefore, our individual and group medical insurance plans[1] cover the treatment of any side-effects related to the COVID-19 vaccines, as well as COVID-19 treatment costs. We have also extended the coverage period of our COVID-19-related measures that were first introduced in 2020 until 31 December 2021, in order to provide extra peace of mind to our customers."

Travelling is the major motivation for both groups

A 'desire to travel' is a key motivator, with 20% of vaccinated respondents and 15% of the unvaccinated ranking travelling is the top reason, landing Hong Kong in the top three markets that are most driven by travel. News on the COVID-19 vaccines encourage both vaccinated and unvaccinated respondents (22%). However, although a 'sense of community spirit' and a 'duty to the society' is the top reason for those vaccinated in Hong Kong to receive the jab (32%), this was one of the lowest-rated drivers for those unvaccinated (6%). Furthermore, out of the 82% of unvaccinated respondents in Hong Kong, 12% state that they cannot be persuaded to get the vaccines.

Research methodology

Cigna partnered with YouGov, the international research data and analytics group, engaged with 13,092 respondents between 12th and 20thMay 2021. The respondents were a representative sample aged 18 or over, 52% male and 48% female, from across 11 markets: Mainland China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, UAE, UK and US.

[1] Standard policy terms and conditions apply. For the applicable benefit limits, please refer to the relevant benefit schedule and policy provision for more details. The COVID-19 vaccination must be approved by the relevant local health authorities and prescribed by a registered medical practitioner.

About Cigna Worldwide Life Insurance Company Limited and Cigna Worldwide General Insurance Company Limited (Cigna Hong Kong)

Since 1933, Cigna Hong Kong has been offering insurance solutions at the right place and the right time, providing advice to customers throughout the different stages of their life journeys. Cigna delivers comprehensive health and wellness solutions to employers, employees and individual customers. Leveraging an extensive global healthcare network, Cigna provides group medical benefits that are suitable for international companies with a worldwide workforce, but also offers tailored and packaged group medical insurance plans to local small and medium-sized enterprises that fit specific needs of the company and its employees. For individual customers, Cigna offers a full suite of health insurance products that caters to consumers' diverse needs. For more details, please visit www.cigna.com.hk.

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