South Korea is aiming to inoculate 70 percent of its population by September to achieve herd immunity by November.
President Moon Jae-in was briefed Monday on the country's vaccination plans as well as its overall response to COVID-19 by top health authorities.
If the past year was spent defending ourselves from the virus through social distancing, from now it's time for virus prevention through vaccines and treatments. Starting next month, we will be able to administer vaccines and locally-made treatments at medical sites to achieve herd immunity no later than November.
South Korea has signed deals to procure enough vaccines for 56 million people which is more than the country's population.
It's in negotiations with the U.S. company Novavax for enough doses for an additional 20 million people in preparation for possible disruptions in supply.
If all goes according to plan, the country will start administration next month beginning with workers at nursing homes, and high-risk medical facilities.
People aged 65 and over will be vaccinated in the second quarter, followed by adults aged 19 to 64 in the third.
Inoculation will be carried out at some 10-thousand medical facilities nationwide and at 250 separate vaccination centers that will be set up.
"Based on scientific evidence, we will establish priorities, without excluding the socially vulnerable, and provide transparent information so that people can get vaccinated in their turn. We will also make sure people can be inoculated safely and conveniently."
COVID-19 vaccines and treatments currently under review are expected to receive conditional approval by February.
On Monday, the government began reviewing the Pfizer vaccine.
South Korea says it will thoroughly review its safety and effectiveness with professional examiners and outside experts.
It has also pledged utmost efforts in terms of transportation, storage and distribution of vaccines as the methods differ depending on the manufacturer.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.