Vials of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca (Photo: Yonhap News)
The government is gearing up to launch its COVID-19 vaccination drive this week.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said Monday that health authorities will start inoculating people with the AstraZeneca vaccine at 9 a.m. Friday.
The first group that will get the jabs are staff members and patients under the age of 65 at convalescent hospitals, rehabilitation centers of mental hospitals and related facilities.
That's about 290,000 people.
The first person in South Korea to receive the vaccine has yet to be determined, but it will likely be a convalescent hospital worker.
The following day, officials will start administering 117,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine provided by the World Health Organization's global initiative, COVAX.
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said earlier that the Pfizer shots will first be given to medical staff that treat COVID-19 patients.
The government has secured vaccines to inoculate 79 million people, more than enough to cover the country's population.
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