‘Why should I get jabs?’, as vaccination rules kick in with students back to school

Hong Kong students returned to school for the new academic year on Thursday with limited in-person classes resumed under the vaccination rules.

The new semester started with a half-day face-to-face class mode after a four-week summer break applied to students in March during the fifth wave of the Covid epidemic, while the last semester ended around August.

Students were also asked to take a daily rapid antigen Covid test (RAT) starting from Tuesday (August 31) - two days before the academic year began - together with providing Vaccine Pass, filling Health Information Declaration Form, and passing the body temperature monitoring when they entered the campus.

Full-day classes can only be resumed in November if 90 percent of students in the school get their third shot of a Covid vaccine, and no-mask outdoor activities will be only granted to students who receive three vaccine shots against Covid from October 1.

Scientia Secondary School in Ho Man Tin today arranged for students who forgot to do the RAT, to do them at school and wait for the results in the playground.

Tsuen Wan Trade Association Primary School has set designated areas for students doing the test.

Yeung, a Secondary Two student, claimed he had never received any kind of Covid vaccine before.

“Why should I get jabs if I could still be infected even when I’m fully triple-vaccinated?” he said.

He added that he will go outside on public premises for dining, as the Education Bureau is banning students from having lunch on the campus under the half-day class mode due to the concern that students are getting infected with the virus.

In his Secondary Six academic year, a student surnamed Ma said he “will receive the third dose in accordance with the requirements of health authorities.”

“I am already used to administering the rapid test now,” he said.

When asked about the effect of the half-day class mode, Ma worries that studying at home will not help him prepare for the Diploma of Secondary Education Examination.

The Principal of St. Stephen’s Church College, Mak Wai Lun, mentioned that the short break for the academic semester inconvenienced the faculty.

“We have to cope with both the tasks left last semester and starting this semester,” he said, “as well as monitor the daily health status of students.”