With COVID-19 vaccinations well underway, South Korea is focused on a two-track strategy speeding up its vaccination drive and slashing infection rates.
The first task became more challenging Wednesday,….when two patients at nursing hospitals who got the AstraZeneca vaccine died.
Both had underlying health conditions, but it's not yet clear if their deaths were directly linked to the vaccine.
As authorities carry out the probe,… the government held an emergency briefing,…asking people to stay calm.
"Other countries have reported cases of people dying after the vaccine due to pre-existing conditions and other reasons. But none of them had to do with the AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccines that South Korea is currently using. So, we urge people against feeling overly worried or avoiding the shots."
As far as the AstraZeneca vaccine is concerned, the KDCA said the UK has reported just over 4-hundred deaths after those people got the AZ shots.
One-hundred-13 such deaths were reported in Germany.
But none have been shown to have any direct correlation with the vaccine itself.
In the meantime, South Korea's Prime Minister is urging the public to stay alert,as vaccination itself is not enough to effectively control infections.
He cited the WHO's latest report,which shows that some countries are seeing another wave of cases since their vaccinations, like Israel and the U.S.,.which experts there attribute to relaxed social distancing.
"The WHO says it'd be a mistake to rely solely on vaccinations. To successfully overcome COVID-19, vaccinations should go hand-in-hand with strict social distancing."
He said it's critical South Korea does not make the same mistakes, especially with experts warning of a possible fourth wave later this month.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.