South Korea has unveiled a multi-stage plan to inoculate the whole nation and hit herd immunity by November. Officials expect to receive four different types of Covid-19 vaccines in the coming months.
The medical workers who treat Covid-19 patients will start getting vaccinated from February, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) head, Jeong Eun-kyeong, announced on Thursday.
According to the plan, people over 65 and other healthcare personnel will get inoculated from May. Other vulnerable groups and nursing home staff will get vaccinated within the year’s second quarter, and police officers, firefighters and teachers will get their turn after June.
The general public will then get the vaccine in the second half of the year, as KDCA aims for herd immunity by November. The government has so far purchased vaccines for up to 56 million people, which is enough to inoculate the whole country.
According to the Korea Herald, the ordered stock includes doses for 10 million people from AstraZeneca, 10 million from Pfizer, 20 million from Moderna, six million from Janssen, and 10 million from the World Health Organization’s COVAX distribution scheme.
The KDCA said that the AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to be available around February, followed by Moderna and Janssen in the second quarter and Pfizer in the third quarter.
Seoul managed to largely contain the spread of the virus during the early months of 2020. The country has since been struggling to curb local hotspots. The government has constantly tweaked restrictions while avoiding a sweeping nationwide lockdown.
South Korea reported 559 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, which is the highest increase in 10 days. Overall, the country has had over 76,000 cases since the start of the pandemic, and 1,378 deaths.
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