Good evening. One year and 37 days, it has been since South Korea reported its very first case of the coronavirus on January 20th, 2020. Make note of that day and today marks another milestone in South Korea's battle against the pandemic.
The nation kicked off its vaccine rollout today - the AstraZeneca shots were administered to 5,2-hundred and 66 nursing home staffers and patients in over 2-hundred 13 facilities across the country.
Our Kim Doyeon is on the ground at a nursing hospital south of Seoul.
Let's connect to our Kim Do-yeon, who is at one of the nursing centers there.
Conn-young, I'm standing in front of a hospital just south of Seoul, and this hospital took part in the vaccination today as well.
Since 10 AM, the hospital has given more than 600 shots.
And I had the chance to speak with one of the very first to get them here.
"I think the authorities did a good job preparing, like they've done with flu vaccines in the past. The jabs are already happening overseas, so I was quite calm."
So 7 containers of AstraZeneca doses arrived here a bit past 9 AM, which is a few hours later than expected, but there were no problems getting everything started right away.
They immediately moved the doses to where the cooler is and checked them.
The doctors, nurses, and of course the needles were all in place, and the recipients were lined up with their screening questionnaires already filled out.
As of now, only around fifty people are left to be vaccinated here, which will happen on Monday.
Of course, among those who got their doses today were the workers here.
"There was nothing unusual after the jab, so it was okay. Actually, I was a little excited because I thought I could kind of see the end of COVID-19, but I suppose we'll have to be careful until then."
Now Do-yeon, it's finally started what is the procedure like? What should others still in line for the vaccines expect?
Actually Conn-young, at least today, it seemed to be a quick process.
There was a long line outside because not a lot of people can go into the vaccination room at the same time, but once you walk in, it's fairly simple.
You show your screening questionnaire and register.
Then you get your temperature checked, and a doctor verifies and signs the questionnaire.
After that it's straight to the vaccination.
The longest process is afterwards, when recipients have to wait for around 15 minutes to make sure they don't have any severe allergic reaction.
Fortunately, we didn't see any of that today, which puts to rest some concerns over safety.
The question is how well this will work for a much larger population?
In fact, I didn't think that we could do this so organicall- in terms of hospitals communicating with the health centers, or the process of delivery. This is the first time I've experienced this, and based on this, I think we can keep going forward without too much trouble.
From tomorrow, the medical workers directly fighting COVID-19 will receive their Pfizer shots.
On March 8th, large hospitals and other high-risk facilities will get AstraZeneca doses.
Until July, shots are primarily for those on the priority list, and if all goes according to plan, we can achieve herd immunity by November.
That's all I have for you at this hour, back to you Conn-young.