September 22, 2022 10:55
Free flu shots to children, pregnant women and the elderly have begun as health authorities issued a flu alert for the first time in three years.
According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Wednesday, free flu shots will be given to groups who are at a high risk of becoming seriously ill or developing health complications if they catch flu. They can go to any designated clinic, hospital or public health center across the country regardless of their home address.
The high-risk groups are children between six months and 13 years, pregnant women and the over-65s.
They will be vaccinated in batches. Children aged between six months and nine years who are getting the flu vaccine for the first time in their life will get their jabs in September. They are given priority because they should get two doses at a one-month interval.
Children aged 9-13 and pregnant women are next between Oct. 5 and April 30 next year, followed by the elderly until Dec. 31, with priority given to the over-75s.
Elderly people can get a COVID jab and flu shot the same day. "There's no danger in the simultaneous administration of vaccines according to recommended procedures and the outcome of monitoring adverse vaccine reactions here and abroad," said Kwon Geun-yong of the KDCA. "It's possible to get each vaccine in each arm the same day."
The KDCA issued a seasonal flu alert for the entire country on Sept. 16 as suspected cases reached 5.1 per 1,000 population on Sept. 4-10. The government is encouraging people to get flu shots to prevent a COVID-flu "twindemic."
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