May 04, 2021 11:00
Coronavirus vaccination for people aged 65-74 will start at the end of this month, increasing the target for the second quarter of this year from 4.94 million people to 8.95 million.
The government will also increase the number of local vaccination venues from the current 2,000 to about 14,000 by late this month.
Appointments can be booked from Thursday for people aged 70-74, from May 10 for those aged 65-69, and on May 13 for those aged 60-64.
Everyone under 75 will be given the AstraZeneca vaccine, while those over 75 will be given the Pifzer vaccine. Pfizer recipients also include 191,000 police officers and coast guards and 452,000 soldiers under 30 from next month because the AstraZeneca vaccine has been linked to the risk of blood clots in younger patients.
"We're also considering giving Novavax, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines to servicemen in their 20s" supposing they become available, a government spokesman said. The government is currently negotiating for the delivery of 2.71 million doses of the three vaccines before the end of June.
Jeong Eun-kyeong, the chief of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, said on Monday, "We'll make sure that up to 13 million people are vaccinated by late June," a slight increase from the original goal of 12 million people.
But all that supposes that a bottleneck in the supply of Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccine supplies can be resolved. The government now claims that enough AstraZeneca doses for 7.23 million people will start arriving on May 14.
Meanwhile, the daily tally of new coronavirus infections stood at 541 as of Tuesday morning.
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