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9 out of 10 S. Korean adults received at least one vaccine shot

All News 15:52 October 05, 2021

SEOUL, Oct. 5 (Yonhap) -- Nine out of 10 South Korean adults have received at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine, helping the country to get closer to a goal of creating herd immunity, the health authority said Tuesday.

A total of 39.7 million people have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, accounting for 77.4 percent of the country's 51.3 million population or 90 percent of those aged over 18, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

The number of fully vaccinated people stood at 27.2 million, or 53 percent of the total or 61.6 percent of the adult population, the KDCA said.

Health authorities expressed optimism that the country will be able to fully inoculate over 70 percent of the population by the end of October thanks to people's willingness to get vaccinations and smooth vaccine supplies

"The high vaccination rate is expected to help people get back to normal in phases," Hong Jung-ik, who is in charge of the vaccination program, said.

People wait for COVID-19 jabs at a vaccination center in western Seoul on Oct. 5, 2021. (Yonhap)

The vaccination rate among those aged 60 and over was higher than those in their 20s, 30s and 40s as the elderly populations were given the priority in the early stage of the vaccination campaign, which began in late February.

Nine out of 10 people aged 70 and over were fully vaccinated, far surpassing 38.3 percent of inoculation rate for those aged between 18 and 29.

South Korea is reviewing when to shift the anti-virus strategy into a scheme that focuses on treating seriously ill coronavirus patients from the current one designed to curb virus cases when it completes vaccinations of more than 80 percent eligible population.

To speed up the inoculation drive, the government said it aims to provide further perks for vaccinated people, such as increasing the number of people for private gatherings.

On Tuesday, the country added 1,575 more COVID-19 cases, raising the total caseload to 321,352, the KDCA said.

ejkim@yna.co.kr
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