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Implementing vaccine pass for children could be delayed

Posted December. 15, 2021 07:42,   

Updated December. 15, 2021 07:42


Confusion continues for parents over whether to vaccinate their children or not, with the government considering a plan to delay implementing a vaccine pass mandate for children aged from 12 to 17 from Feb. 1 next year. Students and parents expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s inconsistent policy and slow move as they have to immediately decide whether to register for private institutes, take private tutoring, or online classes.

The government is reportedly considering a plan to postpone introducing a vaccine pass mandate for adolescents and teenagers from Feb. 1 to Feb. 15, reflecting end-term exams schedule. It is also discussing ways to implement a vaccine pass mandate sequentially by age group or ease social distancing measures for private institutes, which follow vaccine pass requirements.

When the decision to introduce a vaccine pass for private institutes was introduced on Dec. 3, major private institutes recommended that students receive their first dose of vaccination before the start of special lectures for the winter vacation. Parents are concerned over when they should vaccinate their children as the plan to introduce a vaccine pass for private institutes might be delayed. There is no reason to receive the first dose of vaccination by Dec. 27 for special winter vacation classes if the government delays its plan to enforce a vaccine pass.

“The private institute, which was on the top of our list, required students to complete the first dose of vaccination in order to take classes there, so we had to give up registration. It’s absurd that the government is considering modifying the policy now,” a parent in Seoul said. “Private institutes cannot confirm‎ if enrollment is possible because the government policy has not been finalized.”

Health authorities and the Ministry of Education strongly recommend that adolescents and teenagers receive vaccination to curb the spread of COVID-19 at schools but parents are negative about vaccination and a vaccine pass mandate for private institutes. According to a survey conducted by NHN Edu of 14,926 parents on Tuesday, 71.9 percent said they are against introducing a vaccine pass for youth. About 23.2 percent said they are for a vaccine pass and 5 percent said they don’t know.

The Ministry of Education said on Tuesday that it will work to come up with improvement plans within the year by forming an official consultative body with relevant state agencies and the Korea Association of Private Institutes.

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