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Moon urges unvaccinated people to get Novavax vaccine

All News 16:29 February 21, 2022

SEOUL, Feb. 21 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in on Monday called for unvaccinated people to get Novavax Inc's vaccine, as the nation started administering fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccines amid a surge in omicron infections.

Moon made the remarks at a meeting with senior aides as the government is grappling with a new wave of infections driven by the highly contagious omicron variant.

Starting Monday, health authorities began administering fourth doses of shots to high-risk groups, such as elderly people in nursing homes.

"Vaccination is still important. From today, the fourth round of vaccinations for high-risk groups in nursing hospitals and facilities will begin," Moon said.

"For unvaccinated people who are worried about side effects, please actively get the Novavax vaccine," Moon said.

Moon meets senior secretaries
Moon meets senior secretaries

President Moon Jae-in presides over a meeting of his senior secretaries at the presidential office in Seoul on Feb. 21, 2022. (Yonhap)

Some scientists say Novavax's recombinant protein vaccine ensures a more established method compared with the new technology of mRNA, which is used in Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

South Korea has reported about 100,000 daily COVID-19 cases in recent days due to the fast-spreading omicron variant. However, virus-related deaths have been relatively low.

About 56 percent of the country's 52 million population had received booster shots. The number of fully vaccinated people came to some 44 million people, accounting for 86.1 percent.

Moon said the surge in daily infections had been anticipated and the government will make utmost efforts to ease testing shortages.

"Recently, the number of confirmed cases has exceeded 100,000, but it is within the range originally expected, and the situation has not become as difficult as what we were worried about," Moon said.

kdh@yna.co.kr
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