May 12, 2023 11:52
The risk of COVID has not completely gone despite the government declaring the emergency over, and doctors on Thursday recommended that high-risk groups such as the elderly and immunocompromised should get vaccinated every year.
Jung Jae-hun of Gachon University's Gil Medical Center said, "There's neither victory nor end as far as the pandemic is concerned. COVID will likely continue to remain a serious infectious disease and cause several times as many deaths and severe complications as flu."
He speculated that infections and reinfections could reach 5 to 10 million this year. "At least 3,000 patients could die from COVID this year alone," he said. Currently, 15,000 to 20,000 new cases occur and about a dozen of patients die every day.
Kim Woo-joo at Korea University Guro Hospital said, "We can't afford to let our guard down if we compare new cases here with those in other countries." He claimed another COVID variant or a completely new infectious disease may be on the horizon.
Vaccines are likely to be administered every year just like flu shots. Experts recommended that the over-65s and immunocompromised people, who would suffer severe symptoms, should get the jabs every year.
But Koreans' trust in COVID vaccines has fallen dramatically since they do not prevent infection but are only said to reduce the severity of symptoms.
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