South Korea administers its first available shots Coronavirus vaccines

South Korea administers its first available shots Coronavirus vaccines

South Korea administers its first available shots Coronavirus vaccines

South Korea administered its first available shots of coronavirus vaccines to people at long-term care facilities Friday, launching a mass immunisation campaign that health authorities hope will restore some level of normalcy by the end of the year.

The rollout of vaccines come at a critical time for the country, which has seen its hard-won gains against the virus get wiped out by a winter surge and is struggling to mitigate the pandemic’s economic shock that decimated service sector jobs.

Health authorities plan to complete injecting the first of two doses to some 344,000 residents and workers at long-term care settings and 55,000 frontline medical workers by the end of March.

Separately, doctors, nurses and other health professionals treating COVID-19 patients will begin receiving the shots developed by Pfizer and BioNTech from Saturday. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, which South Korea obtained through the WHO-backed COVAX program, arrived at Incheon International Airport on Friday and will be transported to five major COVID-19 treatment hospitals.

Hong Kong also began administering its first COVID-19 vaccines to the public, kicking off its program offering free vaccinations to all 7.5 million residents. People age 60 and older and health care workers are among the some 2.4 million people currently prioritized to receive vaccines at community centers and outpatient clinics across Hong Kong.