Hong Kong has finally given the green light to its Covid-19 vaccination campaign. Some experts and commentators would have held it on amber for a little longer while some issues are clarified. But it was important to get it off the ground once the Sinovac vaccine arrived, soon to be followed by that from Pfizer-BioNTech. Hong Kong has fallen off the vaccination pace set by the mainland and others. Its world-class public health system is accustomed to being on the pace. There is a weariness of economically and socially punishing anti-contagion rules. The city needs to catch up so normal life can resume sooner rather than later. First Covid-19 vaccines land in Hong Kong; city confirms 13 new cases But it is also important not to lose sight of concerns about safety of the jabs for the elderly. The government has rejected suggestions it has been premature in designating the elderly a priority group before a scientific committee gives its advice on which of them should receive a particular jab. It said it was committed to science in ensuring the jabs are safe. Government advisers on vaccines have already suggested 85-year-olds and older should abstain from the Pfizer vaccine. There is so far insufficient data to prove Sinovac is safe for the elderly and a relatively low efficacy rate may decline further with age. But the government says this should be weighed against the use of Sinovac on the elderly in other countries. We may never have the perfect vaccine. But they all promise to prevent serious illness and death, if not infection. Officials are to be commended for pressing ahead, subject to transparency and focus on raising awareness so people make informed choices based on fact. The ultimate goal is herd immunity. Excepting senior citizens from vaccination would not bring it any closer. In that respect it is a worry resistance to jabs offered by the government persists. According to an online survey of 2,733 residents at the end of January by Hong Kong, Baptist and Shue Yan universities, and the Society for Rehabilitation, only 39 per cent are willing to have them. Only 39 per cent of Hongkongers willing to get Covid-19 shots: survey One academic dismissed the worry, putting it down to a wait-and-see attitude. Even if 800 of the 1,600-odd unwilling to have the jabs changed their minds, that leaves an obstacle to herd immunity. If the unwilling are to be persuaded to act in their own and others’ best interests by having the shots there needs to be more clarity about the choice of vaccines promised by the government. With 1 million doses of Sinovac expected yesterday, the first batch of the Pfizer vaccine is expected by the end of the month. But the AstraZeneca vaccine is not due until the second half of the year. If the take-up of Sinovac is low it is not clear how much choice there will be from time to time. There is a need for the government to redouble its education and communication efforts to quickly build public confidence in available vaccines.