September 18, 2020 12:37
The government has secured enough flu vaccines for 60 percent of Korea's population and stockpiling any more would be unnecessary, Minister of Health and Welfare Park Neung-hoo said Thursday.
The remark came in response to calls from lawmakers to secure enough stockpiles to provide free flu vaccinations to the entire population during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, the government has secured enough flu vaccines for 29.5 million people, or around 57 percent of the population.
"No country in the world has vaccinated more than half its entire population against the flu, and we have already stockpiled around 10 percent more than other countries," Park said.
A large surge in production would be impossible, industry insiders say. Production usually begins in March after the World Health Organization announces at the start of the year which flu virus strain is expected to become prevalent. It normally ends in August.
KCDC chief Jung Eun-kyeong said, "Even if we start additional production, supply will not be possible until February or March next year."
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