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100% of local variant cases in S. Korea identified as Delta Updated: 2021-10-21 10:10:12 KST

Plans to move beyond pandemic restrictions are taking shape amid broader vaccination coverage and slowing daily infections.
Kim Yeon-seung joins me now with more on those plans.
Yeon-seung?

Thank you for having me.

Let's start with the latest on efforts to move out of the pandemic.

Well Sunhee.
Authorities said today that they have plans to hold a public hearing next Monday to discuss how to ease social distancing measures while keeping the edge on the COVID-19 prevention front.
This hearing is to discuss the details of the comprehensive plan that the health authorities are drafting right now, so the nation can take gradual steps back to normal from November first.
Authorities are expected to announce the specifics sometime this month.

And WHILE Soa has shared Thursday's COVID-19 numbers for Korea with us I hear you have something to add. about the transmission trend?

What stands out particularly is the high proportion of Delta cases among local infections.
Experts already projected months ago that the Delta strain was going to be the most dominant strain, but this is the first time that the nation has seen a total Delta takeover among local variant cases.
Health authorities identified close to 3,250 variant cases among community infections last week, and 100 percent of them were Delta cases.
The nation has also seen a climb in breakthrough cases.
One out of four people who tested positive for COVID-19 in the first week of October were actually fully vaccinated individuals.
Johnson and Johnson recipients in Korea saw one of the highest rates of breakthrough infections.
It was five times that seen in Pfizer recipients and close to 40 times found among people jabbed with the Moderna vaccine.

Now yesterday that would be Wednesday you spoke of the U.S. looking to grant the green light for booster shots for those who received the Janssen vaccine AND there has been an UPDATE on that front?

Right. The U.S. FDA has authorized booster shots for people who've had not only the Johnson and Johnson, but also the Moderna shots.
What's different about the Johnson and Johnson shot, however, is that recipients can get the booster just two months after their latest shot, if they are aged 18 and over.
For Moderna and Pfizer recipients, only people 65 or over or those considered high risk can get the shot, and it's recommended that they get a booster at least six months after their second dose.
The agency is also allowing a "mix and match" approach, where people can get a different type of jab from the one they originally had.
This expands the U.S. booster campaign to include tens of millions more people and gives more flexibility to health services.

Aside from booster shots I hear authorities in the U.S. are planning to further expand their public vaccination coverage?

The Biden administration is currently preparing to vaccinate millions of children aged 5 to 11.
U.S. officials on Wednesday outlined a plan for vaccinating children and said they've already acquired enough vaccines for roughly 28 million kids.
Part of that plan involves inoculating children in pediatric offices to provide a more comfortable environment for the children when they get their jabs.
Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease specialist, says this a step that is critical in curbing the spread.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to announce its decision some time in November.

Thank you for now and do stay for our broader talks.
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