(Photo; Yonhap News)
South Korea will start its nationwide COVID-19 vaccination program next month.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency announced on Thursday that the free shots will be provided in phases to all Korean nationals and foreign residents.
The government aims to get at least 1.3 million people vaccinated by the end of March in its quest to achieve herd immunity by November.
Ron Chang has the details.
KDCA Commissioner Jeong Eun-kyeong said the shots will be rolled out in phases.
First in line are medical workers on the COVID-19 frontlines, the sick and the elderly at nursing homes.
Starting in the second quarter, people aged 65 and up, health care professionals, the disabled and workers at other high-risk care facilities will get vaccinated.
Adults aged 19 to 64 will be eligible in the third quarter.
Jeong stressed that the aim of the vaccination campaign will be to minimize the number of deaths and block the spread of the virus from high-risk facilities to local communities.
In line with this, she said long-term stay foreigners with alien registration cards will be vaccinated according to the same schedule as Korean nationals.
Jeong also made clear that it will be difficult for people to choose which vaccine they get as they will be delivered at different times throughout the year.
To further promote the program, authorities have reassured that the government will provide adequate compensation for serious side or adverse effects from the scheduled shots.
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