SEOUL — South Korea’s health authorities said Monday that it will administer COVID-19 vaccines to pregnant women and minors aged 12-17 from next month in a bid to vaccinate more people amid the continued COVID-19 resurgence.
About 2.77 million minors aged between 12 and 17 will receive their first dose of vaccines from Oct. 18, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
The teenager vaccination plan was announced as the number of infections among minors rose fast since the COVID-19 resurgence in early July. In August alone, 3,050 minors aged 12-17 tested positive for the virus.
Around 136,000 pregnant women will be recommended to receive the vaccines from Oct. 18 due to the higher rate of severe cases. The rate of pregnant women’s infections that can develop into severe cases is six times higher than other women of childbearing age.
The health authorities also planned to administer booster shots, or the third dose, to medical workers and the virus-vulnerable groups, such as those aged 60 or older and patients with underlying conditions, beginning from Oct. 25.
Since the mass vaccination was launched on Feb. 26, the country has administered COVID-19 vaccines to a total of 38,091,953 people, or 74.2 percent of the total population.
The number of fully vaccinated people was 23,237,917, or 45.3 percent of the population.
In the latest tally, South Korea reported 2,383 more cases of COVID-19 for the past 24 hours, lifting the total number of infections to 303,553.
The daily caseload hovered above 1,000 for 83 straight days since July 7. The daily average tally for the past week was 2,288.