The closer Hong Kong gets to vaccinating as many eligible people as possible against Covid-19, the nearer the city will be to returning to normal. Getting in the way, though, are those hesitant about getting a jab and the biggest cohort of holdouts by far are the elderly. Their reluctance is difficult to understand given that they are the most vulnerable to infection and serious illness. The government’s decision to take the inoculation drive directly to care homes is therefore the right step. Under the scheme, doctors will assess care home residents for their suitability to receive the Sinovac vaccine. Those considered fit will be automatically scheduled for a jab, with their family being notified and the shot being given within two weeks if no objection is raised. Vaccination will not proceed if the family decides against it. The process is not about exerting pressure, but making the elderly and care homes safe in the midst of a pandemic caused by an ever-evolving coronavirus. Hong Kong’s overall vaccination level is about 60 per cent of its 7.5 million population, but the figure for those who have received one jab falls to 40.3 per cent for people in their 70s and plunges to just 14.6 per cent for citizens aged 80 or over. The situation is at odds with most Western countries, where the elderly have welcomed being inoculated. But Hong Kong’s experience with previous epidemics and the government’s strictly enforced social-distancing rules and other preventive measures such as mandatory testing and quarantining have kept the numbers of infections and deaths relatively low. A host of reasons could be behind not wanting to get a jab, among them not feeling vulnerable, pressure from family members or friends and the newness of Covid-19 vaccines . People in aged care facilities often do not receive information in the same way as those in the wider community. They may not be aware of the dangers of the coronavirus, how effective the vaccines are in preventing the most serious outcomes and that extreme side-effects to the jab are rare. Nor may they know how their hesitancy is holding back the economy and travel. The government’s proactive moves are welcome.