September 13, 2021 13:13
A total of 33.13 million people or 64.5 percent of Korea's population have had at least their first shot of coronavirus vaccine. That puts Korea ahead of the U.S.' 62 percent and Japan's 62.2 percent in terms of first shots even though those countries began vaccine injections earlier, but the full vaccination rate stands at only 39 percent, which is way behind the U.S.' 52.9 percent and Japan's 50 percent. Only around 20 million people have been fully vaccinated in Korea, mostly over-60s.
Health authorities say lives could gradually return to normal around late October or early November, when they hope that 70 percent of the country's population will be fully inoculated. But daily COVID-19 infections remain at around 2,000 and there is no telling when another surge may come. A considerable amount of scientific data has been collected during the year and eight months since the coronavirus pandemic was declared, but health officials still appear to be relying on indiscriminate lockdown with little concern for the endless inconvenience for everyone. That includes limiting the number of people who can gather during the Chuseok holiday at just four, or eight if four are fully vaccinated, prohibiting the use of showers in indoor and outdoor sports facilities, and forcing everyone to wear face masks outside.
Of course from the point of view of health authorities, total lockdown is the most convenient solution, and their priority is limiting infections. But as the inoculation rate increases, they do need to wise up to global developments and reduce inconvenience for the public.
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