South Korea starts vaccinating people aged over 75: health authority

Seoul, Apr 1 (Sputnik) South Korea has begun the COVID-19 immunization of people aged 75 and older with the use of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said on Thursday. According to the KDCA, the vaccination will be taking place at 46 government-run facilities with cold storage equipment and ultimately cover about 3.5 million people in the target age group. The authorities plan to raise the number of facilities to 254 by July and lodge them in hospitals, schools and other public institutions across the country.

The travel to such vaccination facilities will reportedly be subsidized by the local authorities. The vaccination cycle in April will also cover certain categories of education workers, including 51,000 teachers who work with disabled children and 13,000 health workers in kindergartens — they will be inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine. In June, South Korea will start vaccinating the 65-74 age group, targeting to cover 4.94 million people, including 491,000 kindergarten and primary school teachers and 385,000 employees of local hospitals, dentist offices, oriental medicine clinics and pharmacies. This tier will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The KDCA also plans to identify and vaccinate citizens with plans to travel abroad for work. In total, over 876,500 South Koreans have already received the first dose of either AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine, and 12,973 others both doses.