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S. Korea to begin vaccinations with AstraZeneca on Friday, Pfizer on Saturday Updated: 2021-02-23 03:54:11 KST

It's a big week for South Korea, as the country will begin its first rounds of COVID-19 vaccinations.
The AstraZeneca vaccine will be rolled out, starting at 9 AM on Friday, for staff members and patients under the age of 65 at nursing hospitals and related facilities.
From Wednesday to Sunday, SK Bioscience, which manufactures the AZ vaccine in the country, will transport the batches to a storage center in Icheon, Gyeonggi-do Province.
Those batches will be enough to inoculate some 750-thousand people.
From there, the vaccines will be distributed to nursing hospitals and public health centers nationwide.
Nursing hospitals will carry out inoculations on their own.
But public health centers will set up vaccination centers for care homes that do not have the infrastructure to do that.
On the same day, some 117-thousand doses of the Pfizer vaccine will arrive in the country from the global vaccine supply scheme COVAX.
And they will be distributed starting on Saturday, to inoculate 55-thousand front-line medical workers.
The first batch will be sent to the vaccination center in Seoul's National Medical Center,then to other state-run medical centers across the country.
Doctors and nurses will need to visit those sites to get their shots.
Covid hospitals with more than one-hundred-20 staff needing vaccinations will carry out the inoculations on-site, to prevent a staff shortage.

"Because the Pfizer vaccine requires a sub-zero cold chain system, national and regional vaccination centers will help train staff in those hospitals who will carry out the vaccinations on their own."

According to the results of a survey released Monday by broadcaster TBS, about 46 percent of South Korean adults are willing to get the vaccine right away when their turn comes, while around the same percentage said they'll wait and see.
Ahead of the big day, the Korean Medical Association has threatened to go on strike over new, stricter rules on medical licensing.
But the government said it will make sure that doesn't lead to doctors boycotting the vaccination campaign.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.
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