On Wednesday, 4.625 million doses of COVID 19 which the Korean government directly purchased from the Pfizer vaccines arrived in Korea, totaling the total amount of COVID 19 doses to 73.855 million doses. This is 37.9% of the total doses of 194.9 million doses. Starting from Dec. 25, an additional 1 million doses will arrive based on the vaccine swap with the U.K., while vaccinations will resume on Thursday. Experts say that the pace of vaccinations need to be accelerated to achieve “Living with COVID-19” strategy, which aims to balance everyday living with COVID-19 restrictions.
According to the Central Disaster Management Headquarters on Wednesday, first-dose vaccination rate among the population is 71.2%, exceeding the government’s target rate of 70% by the Chuseok holidays. However, there are still many people who are reluctant to vaccination. The government has opened booking for vaccinations for 5,775,860 unvaccinated people since Saturday, but only 70,862 (1.2%) have booked. The booking for the unvaccinated will continue until Sept. 30. More people need to be involved to achieve the government’s new target of 80%.
Vaccinations are more important than ever, considering the spread of the Delta variant and other COVID-19 variants. Among COVID-19 confirmed cases in Korea, 98.2% are related to the Delta variant, but the government’s target of achieving initial target of 70% had been established before the spread of the variant. “It takes 0.8 days for the original COVID-19 virus to transmit the disease without having symptoms, but for the Delta variant, it’s 1.8 days,” emphasized Kang Do-tae, a senior official of the Central Disaster Management Headquarters.