S. Korea to prepare for transition to living with virus at end-Oct

2021.09.28 09:53:27 | 2021.09.28 16:33:25

A Covid-19 vaccination center in Mapo-gu, Seoul [Photo by Yonhap]이미지 확대

A Covid-19 vaccination center in Mapo-gu, Seoul [Photo by Yonhap]

South Korea will be ready by the end of October to live with Covid-19 as the local vaccination rate is forecast to reach 90 percent in the elderly and 80 percent of adults by that time.

According to the country’s Covid-19 Vaccine Task Force on Monday, the government will prepare for a transition to a step-by-step recovery to normal life at the end of October as the growing inoculation rates are helping the country’s fatality and disease severity cases remain stable despite a recent spike in new infections across the nation.

The task force said 90 percent of the elderly aged 60 years are expected to be fully vaccinated by the end of October, considering their high-level compliance with dosing intervals and second shot booking.

The vaccination rate in adults aged 18 years or older stands at 53 percent but the rate will improve to 80 percent by end-October given their current booking status and the current six-week dosing interval for Pfizer and Moderna jabs.

The numbers of new infections and patients with severe diseases are expected to decrease when more than 90 percent of the elderly aged over 60 years and 80 to 85 percent of adults ages 18 to 59 get the second dose of Covid vaccines based on mathematical modeling, said the task force, adding this vaccination rate will be a prerequisite to shift the strategy from suppressing the virus to managing it while living a normal life.

The task force also forecast the vaccination rate will rise faster if the interval between the first and second dosing of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is reduced from six weeks to five or four weeks, and more people in the unvaccinated group will join the vaccination campaign from Oct. 1.

The government is recommending vaccination for adolescents aged 12 to 17 and pregnant women in the fourth quarter.

By Pulse

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