November 03, 2021 09:06
Breakthrough coronavirus infections among fully vaccinated people are rising rapidly, especially among the elderly. According to health authorities on Tuesday, there were 3,118 breakthrough infections in the third week of October, accounting for more than 40 percent of all COVID-19 cases.
They rose from 708 in the fourth week of August or 6.7 percent of infections to 3,118 in the third week of October or 41.7 percent.
From Oct. 10 to 23, 75.4 percent of infections among people in their 60s and 80.8 percent among those in their 70s were breakthrough infections.
But most senior citizens will not be able to get their booster shots until early next year. Health officials are administering booster shots first to recipients of Johnson & Johnson vaccines and people with weakened immune systems two months after their last shots.
All others can get booster shots at least six months after their last shots. But provincial governments can speed up that schedule by a month if group infections are feared.
Staff and patients in nursing homes and geriatric hospitals will get their booster injections starting this month, but others will have to wait until January or February.
"People will get their booster shots six months after they're fully vaccinated, the same as in the U.S.," a health official said. "We are not considering speeding up the process."
The daily tally of new infections surged to 2,667 as of Wednesday morning, two days after Korea's phased return to normal began.
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