What makes the dynamic harder to resolve in Hong Kong is a deeper well of mistrust stemming from unprecedented street protests in 2019 as well as a subsequent crackdown by Beijing and local authorities that has eroded key political freedoms.
With political distrust permeating through every sphere of Hong Kong life, some see a refusal to heed government calls to take the vaccine as a form of resistance — particularly as Covid-19 restrictions and the national security law means forms of dissent have mostly been snuffed out.
“I won’t take the vaccine, because my friends and I just don’t want to follow any instructions or recommendations from the government,” said a 16-year-old student who gave her surname as Chau. “I don’t trust anything from them. We’ll do our best to resist and fight against the government in the way we still can.”