This file photo, taken Dec. 1, 2021, shows health workers conducting COVID-19 testing at a high school in the southern city of Gwangju following reports of infection among students. (Photo: Yonhap)
One in five coronavirus patients is aged 18 or younger, according to education officials.
In a meeting Monday with superintendents from across the country, Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae said almost all of the children and teenagers confirmed to have COVID-19 in the past two weeks were found to have not completed their vaccination.
Among the total 2,990 youths who tested positive, 99.8 percent were unvaccinated or only received their first shot.
"Special focus and support are needed for those aged between 12 and 15, an age group showing a substantially low vaccination completion rate of 14.8 percent," Yoo said, noting the infection rate has fallen in age groups with high vaccination rates, including high school students.
South Korea kicked off vaccination for most of the teenage population in the fourth quarter of this year, much later than other age groups.
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