South Korea will begin administering fourth dose of Covid vaccine by the end of February.
South Korean officials stated on Monday, February 14, that they will begin rolling out fourth dose of Covid vaccine by the end of February and will give millions of more home test kits to alleviate shortages caused by an increase in Omicron infections.
The spike has increased daily instances, but extensive immunization, with initial booster injections obtained by more than 57% of the 52 million-strong population, has helped reduce fatalities and serious illnesses.
The fourth dose of Covid vaccine, effectively a second booster shot, would be administered first to high-risk individuals, according to Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol during a Covid-19 response meeting.
“We’re planning to provide fourth shots to those who live in nursing homes and care facilities and others with declined immunisation, in the light of a recent increase of infections among people aged 60 or older,” he said, according to a transcript.
At least 44.22 million individuals, or 86.2 percent of the population, are completely immunized. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported that 54,619 additional cases were reported on Sunday, bringing the total number of illnesses to 1,405,246.
The death toll has risen by 21 to 7,102.
Priority group for fourth dose of Covid vaccine
The fourth dose of Covid vaccine will be administered to 500,000 persons aged 18 and above who live or work in care facilities, as well as 1.3 million others who are immunocompromised, according to KDCA director Jeong Eun-kyeong in a separate briefing.
Individuals outside of these groups would not be encouraged to acquire further vaccinations at this time.
Last month, when the Omicron variant of coronavirus grew prevalent, the government decided to limit free polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing to people in high risk categories.
Others must first undergo quick antigen testing, which may be purchased in stores or provided for free by public health centers.
According to the authorities, test kits for home usage will be limited to five per person at a single place for the next three weeks, with internet and pharmacy sales limited to five per person at a single location.
The overall quantity of available to buy, however, will not be limited, officials stated, because they think supplies are enough in the absence of substantial stockpiling.
Mr. Kwon stated that around 30 million extra self-test kits will be sent nationally this month to alleviate worries about shortages.
According to the government, 190 million self-test kits will be distributed in March, more than double the amount sent in February.
On Monday, the National Assembly passed a measure allowing Covid-19 patients to vote in the presidential election on March 9.
Officials are looking at how to avoid any Covid-related disturbances while guaranteeing that everyone has the right to vote, according to the amendment to the Public Official Election Act.
Due to a strict isolation regulation, those diagnosed with a contagious ailment are essentially barred from voting after the March 4-5 early voting session.