S. Korea starts COVID-19 vaccinations for teenagers and pregnant women
Updated: 2021-10-18 17:02:49 KST
South Korea kicked off COVID-19 vaccinations for those aged 16 or 17 on Monday.
More than 55 percent of that age group, close to 500-thousand people have reserved their shots.
Some can't wait to get back to the classroom, which has become a driving force behind their decision to get vaccinated.
But health authorities are making sure that for adolescents, getting the jab is a well-thought-out, voluntary choice, and that their guardians are also completely on board.
"Vaccinations for children and adolescents are not mandatory. We're not investigating schools on how many of their students are getting vaccinated because we don't want to create an atmosphere that pressures students into getting the jabs."
Those between the ages of 12 and 15 can also start reserving their Pfizer shots on Monday.
They'll start vaccinations in November.
But if they want to get their shots even sooner,.. then reservations can be made for leftover vaccines straight away.
Vaccinations for pregnant women have also started, with more than 25-hundred women having signed up already.
Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday ordered health authorities to quickly come up with a booster shot plan for those who got the Johnson and Johnson shot earlier this year.
This comes after a new study that showed that the protection rate of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine had fallen drastically, from 88 percent to 3 percent in five months.
One of the main draws to the Johnson and Johnson vaccine were that unlike Pfizer or Moderna it were a one-shot deal.
But with studies pointing to waning immunity, some experts have questioned whether this was the right call.
Doctor Anthony Fauci told ABC that Johnson and Johnson's vaccine should've come in two doses from the start.
Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last Friday voted unanimously to authorize booster shots to those who got the Johnson and Johnson jab at least two months after they received their shot.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News