(Photo: AP-Yonhap News)
The government has announced that it will start its COVID-19 vaccination campaign on February 26 with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Jeong Eun-kyeong, the head of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, said the shots will be given first to patients and workers at the most vulnerable medical care facilities in the country, but not if they are 65 or older.
Ron Chang has more.
Jeong said the government decided to put on hold vaccinating the over 65s with the AstraZeneca vaccine because of lingering concerns about how safe and effective it is in the elderly.
This could possibly hamper South Korea's overall vaccination plan, which initially entailed administering the first jabs to 760,000 health care workers and the elderly between February and March.
But Jeong said the change will not have a big impact on the end goal of achieving herd immunity in November.
So, the AstraZeneca's two-dose regime for those aged 65 and up will be postponed until further data is obtained.
A decision on that is expected by late next month.
Meanwhile, workers at other high-risk medical facilities are expected to get their first shots on March 8, followed by quarantine officials, contact tracers and epidemiological investigators some two weeks later.
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