SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday South Korea will be able to achieve the goal of offering at least the first COVID-19 vaccine shot to 36 million people ahead of the Chuseok holiday next week.
"The first dose of vaccine inoculation for 36 million people in advance of Chuseok will be achieved this week as (the government) has promised," he said during a weekly Cabinet meeting.
Vaccinations will further pick up speed, going forward, to get 80 percent of all South Koreans, totaling 52 million, inoculated at least once and reach a 90 percent of inoculation rate for those aged 18 or older, he added.
The government plans to get 70 percent of the population fully vaccinated by the end of October. It expects the goal to be achieved earlier.
"If so, South Korea will become a leading nation in the first-dose vaccination rate as well as the full vaccination one," Moon added.
He reaffirmed the government's commitment to making thorough preparations for easing social distancing rules "in phases," taking other countries' cases into account.
"We will do our best to create a new K-model that harmonizes inoculation, infectious disease control and everyday life as an example of the world," Moon said.
He expressed concern, however, about the possibility of spikes in the number of coronavirus infections during the five-day Chuseok holiday season set to start this weekend.
He asked the public to abide by social distancing regulations and take preemptive virus tests in the case of hometown visits during the fall harvest holiday.
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