[Photo by Yonhap]
South Korea has launched its long-awaited coronavirus vaccination program with the nation’s first vaccination beginning with AstraZeneca jabs Friday morning across the country.
Trucks carrying the first batch of some 1.5 million doses of coronavirus vaccines headed to nationwide destinations under the strict guard of the Army and police on Thursday.
Nation-wide vaccination against Covid-19 kicked off at 9:00 am on Friday concurrently across Korea, and healthcare workers and patients aged less than 65 years at sanatoriums, nursing and rehabilitation facilities are the first group of people who receive the shots before others, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
Unlike other nations where state leaders volunteered to be the first person to receive Covid-19 vaccination in front of media as part of efforts to promote the coronavirus vaccination for herd immunity, Korean President Moon Jae-in would not be the first person to get the shot. Instead, some 60 healthcare workers working at nursing facilities would be the group of people who receive the first AstraZeneca jabs at a public health center located Dobong-gu, Seoul from 9:00 a.m., explained the KDCA.
Earlier, some opposition party politicians insisted on President Moon should be the first person who gets the shot, which was protested by the ruling party.
As each vial of this vaccine contains 10 doses, 10 people will be vaccinated at a time over about 30 minutes.
Korea has so far secured enough vaccines to inoculate a total of 79 million, in excess of its 50 million population. Starting with AstraZeneca shots, the country will give Covid-19 vaccines developed by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen, Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax that it secured via independent contacts and through COVAX facility, a global pooled procurement mechanism for Covid-19 vaccines.
In South Korea, Covid-19 cases are nearing 90,000 since the first confirmed case in January last year.
By Lim Sung-hyun and Minu Kim
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]