2021-09-26 17:36:04 South Korea to Start Vaccine Boosters Amid Surge in Covid Cases

South Korea to Start Vaccine Boosters Amid Surge in Covid Cases

South Korea’s Prime Minister said on Sunday that the country would soon begin giving booster shots to medical workers and people in their 60s and older, as the country battled a new wave of infections following a national holiday.

Infections have increased in South Korea in recent days as millions of people returned home after Chuseok, a three-day holiday celebrating the fall harvest. Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum announced on Sunday that the vaccination campaign would be accelerated. More than 85 percent of new cases in the last few weeks, he said, were people who had not been fully vaccinated. The new plan’s specifics will be revealed on Monday.

“We are feeling the severe consequences of the mass migration during the Chuseok holiday,” Mr. Kim said. “We had anticipated this to some extent, but given the scale and speed of the increase in new cases, we face a serious situation.”

South Korea warned earlier this month that an increase in cases linked to the Delta variant jeopardized plans to resume normalcy in November. As vaccinations have increased, the country has begun to relax some restrictions, such as allowing restaurants and bars to stay open until 10 p.m. However, more than 18 months into the pandemic, fatigue is setting in, and the government is unsure how strictly South Koreans are adhering to the measures.

Mr. Kim also stated that South Korea will begin to administer shots to teenagers and pregnant women. Currently, anyone aged 18 and up is eligible to be immunized. He also stated that the time between the first and second shots will be reduced beginning in October. According to the most recent government data, approximately 45 percent of the total population has been fully vaccinated, and approximately 74 percent has been partially immunized.

South Korea reported a record 3,273 new cases on Saturday, up from around 2,000 cases prior to the holiday.

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South Korea to Start Vaccine Boosters Amid Surge in Covid Cases