People will come to be allowed to make real-time reservation to get the jab with “no-show vaccines” that remain unused at neighborhood clinics and hospitals from now on. No-show vaccine refers to doses of vaccine that remain unused as people cancelled vaccination after making reservation.
The health authority said Friday that the government is launching a real-time online reservation system that starts service timed with the start of Covid-19 vaccination in people aged 65 and older on May 27. The system utilizes private online platforms permitting map function including Naver and Kakao. With the system, people can check remaining vaccine doses in nearby healthcare facilities through an online map, before making real-time reservation. Currently, people must dial or visit a healthcare facility in person, and register his or her name to the candidate list. As inquiries and reservation surged since last month, certain healthcare facilities have had troubles providing ordinary healthcare services.
The second dosing with the AstraZeneca vaccine started in South Korea on Friday. Usually, protective immunity is completely formed about two weeks after the second dosing. The health authority said considering the vaccination plan, South Korea will likely be able to ease mask-wearing guidelines around the Chuseok holiday (September 21) this year. “It is too premature to predict,” Kwon Joon-wook, deputy chief of the Central Quarantine Countermeasures Headquarters, said in a press briefing Friday. “However, we will be able to start lifting of the mandatory mask-wearing rules from outdoors no later than the Chuseok holiday, depending on the vaccination situation.”
Some critics suggest that herd immunity will be achieved in Korea not before December 2023. According to a report submitted Friday by the National Assembly’s legislative survey office to Rep. Yoon Doo-hyun of the main opposition People’s Power Party, Korea is only vaccinating 78,236 people on average per day, and thus will need to spend two years and seven months before vaccinating 75 percent of its population. Refuting this, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said, “Since vaccination capacity will significantly increase from late this month, forecast based on daily vaccination numbers would not be accurate.”
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