November 17, 2022 09:44
Uptake for a new vaccine targeting dominant the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants of COVID-19 is finally improving as winter approaches, rising to 100,000 a day since Monday.
According to health authorities on Wednesday, 104,859 or 56 percent of the 187,250 people, who got booster shots on Monday and Tuesday, were given the new Pfizer bivalent vaccine.
The rest were given a booster of the old Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
Overall uptake for vaccines has therefore improved significantly since the new vaccines became available. Some 90,015 people had the jab on Monday and 97,235 people on Tuesday, up about 65 percent compared to the previous week and about 2.5 times the average daily number in the first week of November.
Health authorities hope to raise the vaccination rate ahead of another COVID resurgence in winter.
"The government is launching an intensive vaccination drive over four week starting from Nov. 21 to encourage people to get additional booster shots," said Peck Kyong-ran, the chief of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. "We'll make sure that half of the over-60s and 60 percent of staff and patients in high-risk nursing homes and other healthcare facilities get additional booster shots during the period."
So far less than 15 percent of them have had their boosters.
Clinics and hospitals are to be given ample supplies of vaccines so that people can get their boosters anytime without having to book in advance from Nov. 21.
The daily tally of new coronavirus infections stood at 55,437 as of Thursday morning.
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