Image: Yonhap News
Health authorities have reaffirmed that the state-run free flu shot program will continue despite mounting concerns over suspected related deaths.
At least 27 people in cities across the country have died after receiving flu vaccinations, including 17 reported on Thursday.
Two of the latest were confirmed in the capital.
An official of the Seoul Metropolitan Government said each of the cases involved elderly men, but only one of them was said to have had underlying health conditions.
Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency chief Jung Eun-kyeong addressed the situation during a parliamentary hearing and stressed the experts' opinions are that there is no direct link between the deaths and the influenza vaccination.
Jung added a thorough investigation is being conducted.
The free seasonal vaccination program -- joined by five major drugmakers that include GC Pharma and Ilyang Pharmaceutical--was expanded this year in an effort to prevent a potential flu and coronavirus twindemic during the winter.
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