October 27, 2020 10:53
Elderly people started lining up for free seasonal flu vaccinations despite careless handling of vaccines and a rising death toll.
President Moon Jae-in urged people not to dodge the flu shots because of fears surrounding the vaccines.
According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, 261,786 people aged 62-69 already got their flu shots as of Monday.
This year's nationwide free flu shot program, which started late September, descended into chaos when all vaccines in the first batch were recalled after it was found that hundreds of thousands of doses had been exposed to room temperature instead of being refrigerated as required.
Another batch commercially supplied to private clinics or hospitals had white particles floating in them.
The KDCA admitted that 11 more people died after their flu jabs, bringing the total to 59 as of Oct. 25.
But it said epidemiological tests or autopsies of 46 of them "found no evidence that their deaths were caused by contaminated vaccines."
"There's a high chance that they died of underlying medical conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes and very low probability of a causal link between their deaths and vaccinations given the obvious causes in their deaths as revealed in the autopsies," a KDCA spokesperson said.
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