Vaccinations of COVID-19 will be launched in South Korea. This marks a shift of the nation’s COVID-19 quarantine paradigm in 403 days since the first case of the coronavirus was confirmed on January 20 last year.
“The government will live up to your heartfelt wish to go back to normal and will achieve the goal of collective immunity within the timetable,” said Prime Minister Jeong Se-gyun Thursday, presiding over a Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures meeting at Government Complex Seoul. “Countries that conducted vaccinations earlier suffered chaos owing to a lax sense of vigilance, and we need to learn our lessons from those cases,” the prime minister added.
On Friday, the first round of COVID vaccinations will be conducted for the patients and staff members at 213 care facilities across the country. It will be the first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines shipped to Korea on Wednesday. Additional vaccinations will be conducted at 292 nursing hospitals across Korea within the next five days.
The government has decided to forgo designation of any single person as “first inoculator.” “Vaccinations will begin at 9 a.m. on Thursday, and any who gets the vaccine that day will become first inoculators,” said an official from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.
A day before the COVID-19 vaccine launch, the government spent the entire day distributing vaccines. Starting at 5:50 a.m. on Thursday, the AstraZeneca vaccines, which were wrapped at a distribution center in Icheon, Gyeonggi Province, were loaded onto fifty six 1-ton freezer trucks and sent to 257 health centers and nursing hospitals. On Wednesday night, the entire batch of vaccines meant to cover 1,950 people on Jeju Island was recalled after a temperature anomaly was detected (ideal range of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius) while it was being transported to Mokpo Port.
On Friday, Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines will be introduced in Korea. The jabs from the United States will cover 199 staff at the National Medical Center and 101 medical workers of COVID-19 in the Seoul metropolitan area on Saturday.
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