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Nearly 1 million people vaccinated in 40 days

All News 10:07 April 06, 2021

By Kim Han-joo

SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea has inoculated nearly 1 million of its population in the 40 days since the country launched its long-awaited COVID-19 vaccination campaign, health authorities here said Tuesday.

An accumulated 999,870 people were administered with their first shots, which account for 1.92 percent of the country's 52 million population, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said. An accumulated 27,691 people have been given both of their shots.

Elderly citizens receive Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at an inoculation center on the country's southern Jeju Island on April 1, 2021, when inoculations for people aged 75 and older began across the nation. (Yonhap)

On Feb. 26, the country began its inoculation program, with health care workers and patients aged below 65 at long-term care facilities, as well as front-line medical workers, among the first in line to receive their first shots.

Of the total, 870,724 people, mostly health care workers and patients at long-term care facilities, received the first jabs of the two-dose vaccine regimen developed by British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and Oxford University, the KDCA said.

Meanwhile, 129,145 people received the first shot of U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc.'s two-dose vaccine regimen. The group mostly includes doctors, nurses and other health professionals treating COVID-19 patients in the greater Seoul area.

The campaign has gained pace as COVID-19 vaccines were first administered to members of the general public aged 75 and older, as well as other virus-vulnerable groups on Thursday. The authorities plan to provide jabs to those aged between 65 and 74 in May.

Amid mounting concerns over the delayed shipment of vaccines due to supply glut of AstraZeneca vaccines, the authorities have said they have finalized the shipment schedule for the first half of the year.

Through the end of June, a total of 18.08 million doses of vaccines are scheduled to be delivered here, with around 2.69 million vaccine doses already shipped in as of March, the KDCA said.

During the April-June period, at least 15.39 million doses, which include 9.1 million AstraZeneca vaccines, are confirmed to be transported here, according to the KCDA.

Medical workers prepare Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at an inoculation center in Seoul on April 1, 2021, when inoculations for people aged 75 and older began across the nation. (Yonhap)

A total of 36 deaths after vaccinations have been reported, but any link with vaccine shots has not yet confirmed, with 19 of them being concluded to have no direct links, the KDCA said. Other cases are still under review.

Of them, two cases were concluded to be anaphylactoid reactions, which has similar symptoms to anaphylaxis, a serious allergic reaction after immunization, it said.

On Tuesday, the country reported 475 more COVID-19 cases, staying in the 500s for the second consecutive day, the KDCA said. The total caseload increased to 106,230.

khj@yna.co.kr
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