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South Korea administers first COVID-19 shots to people at long-term care facilities

South Korea administers first COVID-19 shots to people at long-term care facilities
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South Korea administers first COVID-19 shots to people at long-term care facilities

South Korea administers first COVID-19 photographs to individuals at long-term care amenities

The federal government has additionally determined to increase present social distancing ranges for no less than one other two weeks.

South Korea administers first COVID-19 shots to people at long-term care facilities

Vial of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine. Picture: Johnson & Johnson

South Korea administered its first accessible photographs of coronavirus vaccines to individuals at long-term care amenities Friday, launching a mass immunization marketing campaign that well being authorities hope will restore some degree of normalcy by the top of the 12 months. The rollout of vaccines comes at a vital time for the nation, which has seen its hard-won beneficial properties towards the virus get worn out by a winter surge and is struggling to mitigate the pandemic’s financial shock that decimated service sector jobs. The vaccinations started shortly earlier than the nation reported one other new 406 circumstances of the coronavirus , brining its caseload to 88,922, together with 1,585 deaths.

I felt very anxious over the previous 12 months, however I really feel safer now after receiving the vaccine, mentioned Lee Gyeong-soon, a 61-year-old nursing residence employee, who spoke with reporters after receiving her shot at a public well being heart in northern Seoul. Lengthy-term care residents with mobility issues acquired injections from visiting well being staff at their amenities.

Greater than 5,260 residents and staff at 213 nursing houses, psychological establishments and rehab facilities who’re youthful than 65 have been to obtain their first photographs of the two-dose vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford College on Friday.

An unspecified variety of sufferers and staff at 292 long-term care hospitals and in the identical age group may also get the vaccine, based on officers on the Korea Illness Management and Prevention Company.

Well being authorities plan to finish injecting the primary doses to some 344,000 residents and staff at long-term care settings and 55,000 frontline medical staff by the top of March.

Now we have taken the historic first step towards restoring normalcy, senior Well being Ministry official Son Younger-rae mentioned throughout a briefing.

He mentioned the federal government has determined to increase present social distancing ranges for no less than one other two weeks, clamping down on non-public social gatherings of 5 or extra individuals and banning indoor eating after 10 pm, to assist create a protected setting for vaccinations.

Lengthy-term care amenities, the place elders or individuals with critical well being issues typically reside in crowded settings, have endured the worst of South Korea’s outbreak. About 35% of the nation’s COVID-19 deaths on the finish of 2020 have been linked to those amenities, mentioned Jaehun Jung, a professor of preventive medication on the Gachon College Faculty of Drugs in Incheon.

However there’s criticism over the federal government’s choice to delay the approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines for individuals over 65 till the builders present extra information that means the photographs can be efficient in that age group.

Some specialists, together with Jung, say the choice dangers the security of people who find themselves most weak to COVID-19 when the nation might be mainly depending on domestically produced Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines throughout the early a part of its vaccination marketing campaign.

Regardless of what the federal government sees as a scarcity of laboratory information on its efficacy in older adults, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine remains to be displaying real-world effectiveness in stopping critical diseases and reducing demise charges within the nations the place it was used, the specialists say. Individuals over 80 account for simply 5% of the nation’s coronavirus circumstances, however 56 per cent of its virus-related deaths, Jung mentioned.

Utilizing refrigerated vans escorted by police and navy autos, South Korea transported 1.57 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines throughout the nation from Wednesday to Thursday.

These photographs have been among the many world provides produced within the southern metropolis of Andong, the place native pharmaceutical firm SK Bioscience manufactures the vaccines below a contract with AstraZeneca.

Individually, docs, nurses and different well being professionals treating COVID-19 sufferers will start receiving the photographs developed by Pfizer and BioNTech from Saturday.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, which South Korea obtained via the WHO-backed COVAX programme, arrived at Incheon Worldwide Airport on Friday and might be transported to 5 main COVID-19 remedy hospitals.

South Korea plans to finish injecting the primary doses to some 344,000 residents and staff at long-term care amenities, which additionally embody psychological establishments and rehab facilities, and 55,000 frontline medical staff inside March.

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