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S. Korean health authorities pause free flu shots due to distribution problems Updated: 2020-09-22 17:09:05 KST

South Korean health authorities have put on hold the free influenza vaccination program.
The main batch of vaccinations was scheduled to start this Tuesday, but there were problems with the refrigeration of the batch of vaccines for the 13 to 18 age group.
When in storage, vaccines should be refrigerated but some doses had been left at room temperature while being transported to hospitals.
The quality of the vaccine can be greatly affected if it's not stored at the correct temperature.
Health authorities are investigating a portion of the five million doses.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency has immediately stopped all flu shots and held a briefing to explain the situation.

"There was a problem with the refrigeration temperature during the distribution. There's no problem with the vaccine. All the vaccines have passed the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety's tests, and we are starting an investigation about the distribution process."

The KDCA said the investigation will take around two weeks and once it has been determined that the vaccine is safe, flu shots will resume.
Meanwhile, the vaccination distributed earlier this month for children under the age of nine is deemed safe.
Health authorities are working on providing free vaccinations to some 19 million people 37 percent of the country's population to prevent a double outbreak of flu and COVID-19, dubbed a "twindemic".
The free flu shot is available for children aged between 6 months and 18 years, pregnant women and those aged 62 and above.
Jang Tae-hyun, Arirang News.
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