COVID-19 booster shots will be needed in S. Korea: Expert
Updated: 2021-08-21 09:51:08 KST
Korea's vaccination drive is going according to plan.
But some experts believe booster shots will be required after the country reaches the target of inoculating 70 percent of the population.
Kim Yeon-seung has more.
South Korean Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum last month said that the government will consider booster shots when 70-percent of the country's population has been vaccinated.
And with the vaccination plan running smoothly, health authorities say that South Korea isn't too far from hitting that mark.
"70 percent of the country's population will receive their first shots by the end of September, and more than half will be fully inoculated."
Experts see booster shots as necessary because two full doses aren't enough for a permanent shield against COVID-19.
"Vaccines will decline in effectiveness after a while. Other countries are already starting to give out booster shots, and there will come a time when booster shots are needed in South Korea too, so we should start getting ready for them quickly. "
Israel on Friday approved booster shots to anybody aged 40 and up.
The U.S. earlier this week also solidified its plan to start administering booster shots to all eligible Americans during the week starting September 20th.
"The U.S. have decided to give out booster shots after eight months. It seems like mRNA vaccines decline in effectiveness after three months, so I think booster shots should be given at least six months after the full vaccinated."
But booster shots won't be just a single, extra jab.
"We've already predicted that if COVID-19 continues to spread long term that we need to vaccinate people almost annually."
The booster shots won't, however, guarantee an extra layer of protection against the emerging variants.
Rather, they help prevent critical illness and death.
South Korea has secured enough vaccine doses to go around.
So after everyone has gotten both shots, experts say that it's best to start giving out the extra jabs to the high-risk age groups.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News