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S. Korea to compensate those who develop severe side effects as cases already show vaccine's effectiveness Updated: 2021-05-17 14:48:57 KST

Starting Monday, the South Korean government will support the medical fees of people who have become ill after getting vaccinated even if they cannot prove a direct causal link between the vaccine and the symptoms.
Patients will be able to receive up to 10-million Korean won, or about 8,800 U.S. dollars.
Until now, the government had provided compensation for the cases where authorities found that the illness could have been a possible side effect of the vaccination.

"This is a measure to strengthen national responsibility for COVID-19 vaccinations. This will be applied to patients who have been hospitalized or admitted to units equivalent to intensive care after vaccination, but have been excluded from compensation due to insufficient evidence."

Authorities revealed that there are six people already eligible.
The move is also aimed at helping the country's vaccination process with reservations now open for anyone over 60 years old. but with lingering concerns over safety.
They have been open since last week and nearly 50 percent of 65 to 69-year-olds have signed up for the shots so far while the 60 to 64's stand at 30 percent.
Among teachers of nurseries and pre-schools up to elementary 2nd grade more than 50 percent have signed up already.
To ease any concerns, health authorities have highlighted specific examples of when the vaccines became effective.

"At the recent nursing home cluster infection in Daejeon, there was a 92-percent prevention rate among those who had received a first vaccine dose two weeks before. In addition, at a nursing home in Seongnam, there have been no cases reported among those who have been vaccinated."

Authorities also point to domestic data which shows that vaccines have prevented the spread of the virus at a level of more than 85 percent with a 100-percent prevention rate for death.
As for the vaccination status in South Korea more than 3.7 million have received at least a first dose of the vaccine which is 7.3 percent of the country's population.
Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News.
Reporter : tkim@arirang.com
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