Club meeting — vaccines for SARS-CoV-2

On December 10, our Club met on Zoom due to worsening pandemic conditions in Hong Kong. Rotarian Eliza, having just returned to Hong Kong from New Zealand, joined our meeting from her quarantine hotel and shared with us her life under quarantine.

Our speaker of the day was Rotarian Kelvin Yeung, Professor at HKU LKS Faculty of Medicine. Rotarian Kelvin’s topic was current development of vaccines to combat Covid-19. Using his research skills and connections to experts at HKU, Rotarian Kelvin prepared for and presented a well-researched yet layman explanation of vaccine developments around the world. In particular, Rotarian Kelvin differentiated between the various approaches of vaccines under clinical trials, and debunked certain misinformation about vaccines. Analogically, the current vaccine candidates are like different weapon types using different attack approaches, though aiming at the same enemy. Their chemical structures and biological mechanisms are very different, as are their shelf lives, storage requirements and need for further booster shots.

The bottom line is that vaccine development is one critical and important step in the fight against the virus, but not the only one. Other steps are important too, including proper use of masks, good hygiene, and social distancing. Until vaccines are mass produced and deployed, we have to continue to rely on these other steps to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.

Rotarian Kelvin, on vaccines.