The COVID-19 vaccine rollout for those aged between 55 and 59 began on Monday.
Their inoculations will continue for three weeks, before health authorities move on to those in their early 50s,.. who can get their jabs starting from the 16th of next month.
There are more than 7.3 million people in their 50s who are eligible for the upcoming jabs.
The majority of them 84 percent have reserved their shots.
They will receive Moderna or Pfizer doses.
And more vaccinations are coming up for later this month, and in August.
"Inoculations for education and care workers will begin on Wednesday, the 28th. Next up are, students,.. other than the ones in high school,who are taking the college entrance exam. They will get Pfizer doses from August 10th to 14th at medical facilities nationwide."
Health authorities are hoping that vaccinations will now start to speed up. The proportion of the population that is vaccinated has stayed at around 30 percent since early June.
Despite the rather sluggish vaccine rollouts now,.. the government is reassuring the public that there will be no delay in reaching 70 percent of inoculations by November.
But when the country hits that target,.. the question of booster shots may be up in the air.
Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum, on Monday said during a radio interview that health authorities may rethink administering booster shots once the country reaches the 70-percent goal, since there are still many unknowns about the constantly evolving variants.
Meanwhile,.. South Korean health experts conducted a study that showed that mix-and-matching AstraZeneca and Pfizer shots may be more effective in preventing the virus than completing the vaccinations with both AstraZeneca doses.
Their study reveals that receiving the first shot as AstraZeneca and the second as Pfizer generated neutral antibodies that are six times higher in number than when a person had received two AstraZeneca jabs.
But effectiveness against the Delta variant did not see a boost. Health experts plan on conducting more studies.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News