S.Korea aims to inoculate 12mn people by June

South Korean health authorities said on Monday that the country aims to administer the first jab of Covid-19 vaccines to 12 million people by the end of June.

The country launched its mass vaccination campaign on February 26, administering the first shot of vaccines to a total of 588,958 people, mostly patients aged 65 or lower at nursing homes and medical staff treating Covid-19 patients, Xinhua news agency reported.

The first-phase was set to be completed by the end of March, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).

The second-phase, slated to last from the fourth week of March to June, will involve six major groups, including patients and employees at nursing facilities aged 65 or higher, and virus-vulnerable facilities for the elderly, the disabled and the homeless.

Among the general public, those aged 65 or older will get inoculated during the first half.

Vaccine recipients on the list will include a part of teachers and healthcare personnel in pre-schools, daycare centres and primary schools; patients with chronic kidney failure and chronic severe respiratory disease; and socially required personnel and health, medical staff such as flight attendants, police, firefighters, soldiers and staff in hospitals and pharmacies.

The third-phase administration is scheduled to begin in July, mostly focusing on the general public.

South Korea aimed to get 70 per cent of its population vaccinated by September, and to form a herd immunity no later than November.