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S. Korea's first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines distributed to health centers and care homes nationwide Updated: 2021-02-25 14:48:31 KST

Now, public clinics nationwide got their vaccines this morning ahead of the first inoculations tomorrow morning. This initial batch will be enough for close to 800-thousand people.
Our Eum Jiyoung is live at a clinic south of Seoul.
Ji-young, how are the preparations going there on the ground?

Connyoung, I'm outside a health center in Suwon city, Gyeonggi-do Province.
This is where some of the first inoculations in the country will be administered.
And the first doses of the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca arrived here at around 9AM this morning under escort by the military and police.
In front of the main gate, health center officials and guards checked the exterior of the container carrying the vaccine to see whether there were any problems during the delivery.
The vaccines were carried into the health center for storage ahead of the rollout, but the press were not allowed to go in with them.
The vaccines will be kept at three to four degrees Celsius, which is on the lower end of the required range for this particular vaccine of between two and eight degrees.
Shots are carefully being delivered to some 19-hundred health centers and care homes nationwide today.
About one.five-seven million vaccine doses, enough to inoculate 785-thousand people are being delivered across the country.
In order for the vaccination process to begin smoothly on Friday, South Korea's health authorities are closely monitoring the situation. Take a listen.

"At the health center, we have a refrigerator just for the vaccines. An auto-call function is installed so we can closely monitor the situation 24 hours a day."
So, did all deliveries go according to plan?

Connyoung, it was not smooth sailing for the one batch bound for Jeju Island.
A batch of about 2,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine was not kept under optimal conditions.
The temperature of the container went below the recommended temperature of two to eight degrees Celsius, reportedly dropping to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The batch was returned to the distribution center in Icheon, Gyeonggi-do Province, and a fresh batch was delivered to Jeju.
The health authorities later said that there weren't any problems with the returned vaccines so decided that they could still be used.

So as vaccines have been delivered to the designated hospitals and clinics, they will be administered at 9AM sharp tomorrow, right?

Yes Connyoung, you are absolutely right. As you said, they will all start to administer the vaccines tomorrow at 9 AM nationwide.
Those first in line to be vaccinated are residents and staff at these care centers and hospitals but only those under the age of 65.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency stated that it will not specify one person as the number one recipient of the vaccine, rather it said everyone being inoculated tomorrow is the number one recipient.
About 289-thousand people are eligible for the first round of the vaccine and willing to receive it. Of those eligible, about 94 percent were willing to get the vaccine.
Those who can visit health centers will be vaccinated there.
And medical staff will visit care centers and rehabilitation facilities where doctors are not present.
In order for a smooth inoculation, people should make sure that they arrive on time. If for any reason they do not feel well on the day of vaccination, they should call in advance and postpone the vaccination. Also they should let the doctors know about their medical history, especially if they have any allergies
The KCDA chief Jeong Eun-kyeong is very confident that based on scientific facts there are no adverse side effects from the AstraZeneca vaccine. But Jeong said the health authorities have prepared countermeasures against severe allergic reactions or any other side effects. CPR and ambulances will be on stand by at all centers.
That's all I have for now, I'll have more updates in our upcoming newscasts.
Back to you, Connyoung.
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