South Korean health authorities have expanded their eligibility list for COVID-19 booster shots.
"Considering the risk of infection, developing serious symptoms, death, and breakthrough infections, additional vaccinations will be expanded to those in their 50s, those with underlying diseases, Janssen recipients, and priority occupational groups."
Booster shots mean a third shot six to eight months after the second dose for an mRNA vaccine, and for Janssen's one-and-done type a second short two months after the first.
The newly included people will be able to sign up for the shots on November 1st and the roll out will begin on the 15th.
That's another 2 million more people.
The over-50s have been added as the fatality rate starts going up significantly starting among those in this age group.
People with certain underlying illnesses would include those with diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic renal failure, chronic hepatitis B, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
For Janssen's vaccine recipients, there have been a high number of breakthrough infections, so the authorities have included them to prevent any more.
The authorities also said on Thursday that, according to recent data, those who are unvaccinated are 9.4 times more likely to die from COVID-19 while the spread of the Delta variant has lowered the effectiveness of the vaccines to around 60 percent.
"Prevention of critical cases and death is above 90-percent. To prevent people from becoming critically ill or dying, getting vaccinated is what's most important."
The U.S. is also looking to expand its vaccine rollout with the country's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updating its guidelines to recommend a fourth shot to "moderately or severely" immunocompromised people.
The agency recommended the shot to come 6 months after the third shot.
Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News.