SEOUL (SOUTH KOREA) – South Korea launched an ambitious COVID-19 inoculation campaign on Friday and 18,489 people received their first doses of AstraZeneca PLC’s vaccine by midnight. Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines will be used on Saturday.
The first to receive the shots are healthcare workers, staffers at assisted care facilities and other high-risk people. The country aims to vaccinate 32 million to 36 million people by September.
The government hopes to reach herd immunity, defined as at least a 70% vaccine take-up, by November, as health authorities remain on alert for signs of sporadic infections.
The first AstraZeneca vaccines are to be administered to 289,000 people, while about 55,000 healthcare workers in coronavirus treatment facilities will receive first batch of the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE supplied through the COVAX global vaccine-sharing programme.
Aside from AstraZeneca, Pfizer and COVAX, South Korea has also reached agreements with Moderna Inc, Novavax Inc and Johnson & Johnson for vaccines.