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HKBU Students Worry University to Follow CUHK and HKU in Requiring Vaccination for Hall Residents

Hong Kong Baptist University students stand outside the student hall on the Kowloon Tong campus. The hall houses 1,800 students, who are mostly local and not vaccinated.


Hong Kong Baptist University students are concerned the school will follow the Chinese University of Hong Kong, The University of Hong Kong and Lingnan University in requiring vaccinations for hall residents.

Many HKBU students are opposed to the policy and cautious about the vaccines.

“I don’t agree with the compulsory vaccination for residents since it is a personal right for everyone to choose whether to get jabs or not. I would rather give up living in the hall if my university requires me to do so,” said Kwok Yuk-kit, 21, an HKBU business student who lives in the hall.

“I am against such policy. Living in halls and attending universities are free for students to choose. Right now getting vaccinated is not necessary in Hong Kong, the infected case is very stable. I have lived in the hall since the outbreak of the pandemic, but I am still healthy and safe. Meanwhile, no hall resident is reported infected,” said Emily Ling, 22, a business student and hall tutor.

The University of Science and Technology will require vaccinations or testing of all students and staff, not just hall residents.

“As for (universities) requiring residents to get jabs, it is even more unreasonable. But if the hall could test each resident before check-in, that would be more acceptable,”said Li King-sang, 23, a business student at HKBU.

HKBU saw 15 covid-19 cases on campus since September, in some cases causing classmates to be sent to government quarantine centres.

“Getting all the residents vaccinated is not going to largely enhance our protection against the virus. The pandemic has been more than a year now, but no infection case is discovered in the hall,” said Ms Li. 

Vaccination rates remain low in Hong Kong. The government extended vaccine eligibility for the BioNtech vaccine to 16 on April 15. 

“The vaccine has some potential risks which are unknown. I do think that getting vaccinated can protect us from the virus. It is also our responsibility to protect our community. I will definitely get vaccinated and I think everyone will, but not now until the guarantee of the safety of vaccines,” said Lee Tin-wai, 22, studying Physical Education and Recreation Management.

“If everyone gets vaccinated, it would definitely help fight against the pandemic. But correlating the vaccination with the hall qualification is not right,”  said Zhao Chujun, 20, a math student who has been vaccinated.

As countries such as the US open their doors to foreign students going on exchange in the fall, some HKBU students said they would consider the vaccine. 

“I disagree with the policy. It is our freedom to choose whether to get vaccinated. It should not be up to the decision of the school. If I would go exchange I would probably accept the vaccine,” said Tiffany Chan, 19, a Government and International Studies student and Councilor of the HKBU Student’s Union.

Many students said they are concerned about the safety of the vaccine, despite research showing they are safe.

“None of the peers around me have gotten vaccinated. Even my parents reject the vaccines since they are unstable,” said Ms Li.

“I think it’s a good policy to further protect us. But the problem is public service and responsibility. How the university delivers the message and who should take the responsibility if any health issues occur to students after getting vaccinated are the problems,” said Liu Hongrui, 20, a Chinese medicine student and non-local hall mentor who is vaccinated.

“Getting vaccinated is not bad, but the safety should come first. I think we should wait a little bit longer until it’s more stable. However, our government’s policy that pushes us to get vaccinated is not really good. I feel it is not really friendly,” said Ms. Ling.

“Putting the life at risk to get vaccinated is not worth it, considering all those medical incidents,”said Chan Ka-on, 20, a marketing student.

《The Young Reporter》

The Young Reporter (TYR) started as a newspaper in 1969. Today, it is published across multiple media platforms and updated constantly to bring the latest news and analyses to its readers.


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