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KDCA chief says S. Korea can start easing prevention measures once 80% of adults are fully vaccinated Updated: 2021-09-08 09:23:45 KST

Since the start of the pandemic, terms like "new normal" have been used to explain how wearing masks and working from home have become part of our lives.
More recently, the phrase "with Corona" is being used in South Korea, to mean learning how to live with COVID-19 at a time when even the vaccinated can still catch the virus.
It also means shifting the focus onto reducing the number of deaths and critically ill patients, rather than the daily tally.

Originally, the country had said fully inoculating 70 percent of the population would be enough to reach herd immunity meaning the end of the pandemic.
But, South Korea's top health official on Tuesday said the nation will be ready to ease social distancing measures in daily life, if 80 percent of all adults, and 90 percent of the elderly are fully vaccinated.
Jeong Eun-kyeong, the chief of the KDCA said this would be possible as early as the end of next month and stressed that it will be a gradual easing of social distancing measures meaning that there won't be a drastic difference straight away.

And some health experts told Arirang that they agreed with the KDCA chief.

Like Singapore and Denmark, 70% of the population have been fully vaccinated, meaning of course, 80% of adults received both jabs. Only when it reaches that level, the spread of infection gradually slows down.

This health expert also agreed that a gradual relaxing of social distancing measures is important.
She suggested South Korea starts easing measures in daily life.

"To ease the difficulties or fatigue felt by small business owners and citizens, authorities could first lift limits on operating hours or on social gathering caps. But we can't take off our masks immediately because the Delta variant causes breakthrough infections among the vaccinated."

So far, more than 42 percent of adults have been fully vaccinated in South Korea.
Shin Ye-eun, Arirang News.
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