South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jeong-sook will be publicly vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccines on next Tuesday. It appears that the presidential couple is taking the shots on the day when the official AstraZeneca vaccination is kicking off to dispel public fear about the controversial British-made jabs.
In a briefing on Monday, Kang Min-seok, the spokesperson of the presidential office, said the scheduled vaccinations for the president and the first lady are for the upcoming G7 meeting in June, which will take place in the U.K., stressing it is fully compliant with the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency’s guidelines on obligatory travelers. The U.K. has invited South Korea to the G7 Summit Meeting slated for June 11.
“The presidential couple chose March 23 as vaccination day to show by example and dispel the public concerns about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines by taking the shots first among the over-65 seniors,” said the spokesperson.
“The AZ vaccines have been administered to those aged below 65, and President Moon has decided to roll up his sleeves first to address public fear about the vaccine’s potential health risk on the elderlies,” said an official from the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae. “There was some room for adjusting or postponing the schedule, but the kick-off day for official vaccinations on the over-65s has been chosen.”
The AstraZeneca vaccine requires a two-shot regimen spaced out by 10 to 12 weeks, and it takes about two weeks for the antibodies to generate. The second shot must be administered at least by late May for President Moon to safely attend the summit meeting in June. Those who must depart the country to carry out public duties directly serving the national interests such as foreign visits for public service, military or foreign diplomatic mission deployments can apply for vaccination regardless of their given vaccination order during the registration period between March 17 and the end of second quarter this year.
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