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S. Korea aims to reach 13 million vaccinations by end of Q2 with increased vaccine supply Updated: 2021-05-04 10:40:17 KST

I have Lee Kyung-eun here in the studio with details.
Welcome Kyung-eun.

Hi Sun-hee.

So a GREATER NUMBER of SENIOR CITIZENS will be getting the FIRST DOSES this quarter?

Yes, the government decided to expand its vaccination campaign to more regular citizens.
Previously, it was planning to vaccinate those between 65 and 74, in the second quarter.
But now, that age bracket,has been widened to 60 to 74,…and they will be getting the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Inoculations will begin with the eldest starting with people between 65 and 74, on May 27th.
Those between 60 and 64 will be next in line, getting their vaccines starting on June 7th.
Vaccinations have already started… for people over the age of 75, who are receiving the Pfizer vaccine.
The move is aimed at prioritizing vaccinations for people who are more likely to face serious health outcomes,from COVID-19.

"….a total of 8.9 million senior citizens will be inoculated in the second quarter as part of our expanded vaccination campaign. This decision was based on the fact that those over the age of 60 were at greater risk of death and serious illness from COVID-19.

Teachers at daycare centers, kindergartens, and first and second grades in elementary school,….will also receive AstraZeneca shots,… starting June 7th.
Also in June,… essential workers, like police officers and military service members,aged BELOW 30… will be getting Pfizer's vaccine.
This comes following the suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine on THAT age group due to the vaccine's link,to rare blood clotting disorders.

I also hear we'll be able to OFFER the FIRST DOSE of the COVID-19 vaccine to MORE PEOPLE by the end of June?

Yes, that's right.
The government is aiming to give first doses to at least 13 million people,by the end of June.
That's 1 million more,than the country's INITIAL PLAN,of 12 million.
That's now possible,… with the increase in vaccine supply.
The country is set to receive some 14.2 million doses in the next two months,… for an aggregate total of 18.3 million,by the end of June.
That's a major boost in supply,… compared to only 4 million doses,… that the country received in the TWO PREVIOUS months.

"A little over 18 million doses were scheduled to arrive in the first half of the year,… but the advance delivery of 230-thousand AstraZeneca shots… has pushed that figure to 18.three million doses. The speed and scale of vaccine shipments are picking up pace."

Some 7.2 million AstraZeneca doses will arrive in the country… between May 14th and the first week of June.
5 million Pfizer doses…. will also arrive in May and June,… being shipped in small batches once a week.
Also,… South Korea will receive 1.6 million AstraZeneca doses,…and some 300-thousand Pfizer doses,…from the COVAX Facility by June.
In addition to that, the government is currently in talks with Moderna, Novavax and Johnson & Johnson to import their vaccines in the first half of the year.
Altogether,… the government is looking at,a total of 1-hundred-92 million doses for this year, which is well over triple the country's entire population.

BUT the NEXT SHIPMENT of vaccines is set to arrive in mid-May.
SO HOW are authorities planning to ALLOCATE their current supply?

Well, the government said… it will limit the number of first-time recipients ,so that it can give second doses,on time.
Last week, authorities already recommended vaccination centers to stop administering Pfizer vaccines to new recipients.
Authorities stressed, that this adjustment is only temporary.
And they made clear,that this does not hint at any delays in vaccine shipments.
Take a listen.

(KOREAN) May 2, 2021
"The government's vaccine strategy is aimed at maximizing the number of first-dose recipients using existing supplies, then administering the second doses with follow-up shipments. So inevitably, there will be repeated cycles when the number of first-dose vaccinations outnumber second-dose jabs and vice versa."

Although no exact date has been mentioned, authorities expect,that it would be sometime around late-May, when it completes handing out second doses to more than 1 million Pfizer recipients.
As for AstraZeneca's vaccine,… the government will administer first doses to a final group of registered individuals,by the end of this week.
Then starting next week,.. it will also temporarily halt the first-dose rollouts of the AstraZeneca vaccine, until the 27th.

Thank you for that report.

My pleasure.
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