That’s about 70 percent of the country’s initial target of some 760-thousand people in the first quarter.
“South Korea’s vaccination campaign had seen a slower start compared to those countries that are hit harder by COVID-19, but with the active participation of the public, the vaccinations are proceeding with speed.”
With this pace, South Korea could actually exceed its initial goal,and reach 1 million by the end of this month.
That’s largely because the government has approved the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for those aged 65 and older, who had been previously excluded due to a lack of data on that age group.
Over 370-thousand people in that age group at nursing hospitals and care homes will start receiving their shots, as early as next week.
That’s on top of the 780-thousand registered recipients in the current round of vaccinations.
And throughout the first half of the year, the government aims to reach 12 million vaccinations, which is more than one-fifth of South Korea’s population.
It plans to do so by expanding priority groups, starting with nurses and teachers at special schools for disabled children.
South Korea’s vaccination scale-up comes amid safety concerns over the AstraZeneca vaccine,following a series of post-vaccination blood clot cases in Europe.
Several countries there have either suspended the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a precautionary measure, or banned the use of a certain batches of concern.
But South Korea is not likely to take any such moves.
“So far, South Korea hasn’t seen any reports of side effects related to blood clots”
The European Medicines Agency also advise that the vaccines continue to be used.
As there’s currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.