S. Korea to start vaccinations of care workers, airline crews

SEOUL– South Korea will start giving AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to health care workers and airline crews this week to speed up the vaccination drive against the pandemic, the health authority said Sunday.

Health authorities will administer AstraZeneca vaccines to health care workers for the disabled, seniors and veterans as well as airline crews starting from Monday, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

Those under age 30 will be excluded from the list on concerns over rare blood clots.

Doctors, nurses and pharmacists as well as patients undergoing hemodialysis will be eligible for the AstraZeneca vaccine beginning April 26, the KDCA said.

The authority suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine from April 8-11 on reports of rare blood clots but resumed vaccinations on April 12.

A total of 175 vaccination centers, which are capable of 105,000 vaccinations a day, are administering inoculations with AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines to those age 75 and over, as well as employees and residents of nursing homes. The two types of vaccines require two doses to be effective.

South Korea plans to vaccinate 12 million people by the end of June and achieve herd immunity by November, but concerns are rising over delays in the inoculation drive after the U.S. suspended the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over rare blood clots.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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