President Moon Jae-in of South Korea has expressed his willingness to get vaccinated for COVID-19. It appears that he will get the AstraZeneca jab in late March or early April.
On Thursday, presidential spokesman Kang Min-seok said, “President Moon will get vaccinated with the same type of vaccine like any other Korean citizen,” and added he is willing to take the AstraZeneca vaccine. Kang explained the timeframe for the vaccination will be decided with the G7 itinerary in June taken into account. Those with an urgent need to travel abroad for public service or business can get vaccinated earlier than other folks after passing examinations. Such a case applies to President Moon as he is scheduled to attend the G7 meeting.
This year’s G7 summit meeting is taking place in the UK on June 11, and President Moon needs to be vaccinated at least in around early April to attend the top-level gathering. One must be vaccinated twice with the AstraZeneca vaccines with an 8-week interval. Once vaccinated, it takes about two weeks for antibodies to be generated. This means that President Moon must get his first shot in late March or early April to have his antibodies formulated before the summit day.
It has not been decided which vaccine he will take. Currently, AstraZeneca and Pfizer are the two COVID-19 vaccines available in South Korea. Pfizer vaccines are reserved for the medical practitioners and medical workers of the coronavirus, and the AstraZeneca jabs are for the patients and staff of care homes and nursing facilities housing those under 65. Recipients of vaccines have already been fixed. Parts of the 1.05 million shots of AstraZeneca vaccine will be additionally shipped into the country from COVAX Facility this month, while 500,000 more vaccine shots will be secured. Recently, Prime Minister Chung Se-gyun mentioned the possibility that the Pfizer vaccines might go to elderlies first.