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Fourth vaccine dose begins for people with suppressed immune system

Fourth vaccine dose begins for people with suppressed immune system

Posted February. 15, 2022 07:49,   

Updated February. 15, 2022 07:49


The administration of fourth COVID-19 vaccine doses began on Monday for high-risk groups – about 1.3 million people with the suppressed immune system, such as cancer patients and those who had an organ transplant. This group of people can get vaccinated from Monday using the remaining available vaccines or designate a date to receive a dose from February 28.

The South Korean government announced its fourth vaccine dose administration plan on Monday as above. Following the group with the weakened immune system, about 0.5 million people admitted in or working at care hospitals or facilities will receive a fourth dose from March. People who received a third dose 120 days or longer ago are eligible. However, those with appropriate reasons, such as mass infection risk, are also eligible 90 days after a third dose.

The government said the reason for the decision to administer fourth doses is to reduce the burden on the medical system. As it has been more than three months since some people aged 60 or over received their third dose, the number of new COVID-19 patients is on the rise. The share of older people among new patients rose from 8.0 percent in the fourth week of January to 11.7 percent in the second week of February. As of 12 a.m. on Monday, the number of new daily patients recorded 54,619, having exceeded 50,000 cases per day for the fifth day in a row. It is about 1.5 times more than just a week ago on February 7 with 35,286 cases. In particular, the number of patients with critical symptoms exceeded 300 for the first time in 17 days.

The disease control authorities, however, said that they are yet to review the administration of a fourth dose to the general public for the reason that there isn’t enough base for a fourth dose as the World Health Organization and European Medicines Agency released negative opinions on the repeated administration of the existing vaccines. The government also announced that it is not considering a measure to allow vaccine pass benefits to only those who receive a fourth dose.

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