Health

South Korea prepares to inject the 4th dose of Covid-19 vaccine


South Korean officials on February 14 announced a plan to give a fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine to people at high risk of nCoV infection and severe disease.

Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol said: “Because of the recent increase in the number of infections among people aged 60 and older, we are planning to give the 4th injection to people living in nursing homes, working and working. in medical facilities and immunocompromised groups,” he said.

The country’s daily number of positive cases has reached a record high, but an extensive vaccination program has helped limit deaths and serious cases.

At least 44 million people, or 86% of South Korea’s population, have had two doses. The country also administered a third dose of the vaccine to more than 57% of the population. Going forward, it is expected that about 500,000 people 18 years of age or older, living and working in medical centers, and 1.3 million immunocompromised people are eligible to receive the fourth dose, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Korea Disease (KCDC), said. People not in the above group are not recommended to receive additional doses.

Data released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on February 12 showed that booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine decreased effectiveness after about 4 months.

People wear masks to prevent Covid-19 while walking in downtown Seoul, South Korea, January 5. Photo: Reuters

The vaccine’s protection decreased from 69% to 37% within two months of the second dose. The booster dose raised the protection level to 87%. But 4 months later, the booster dose reduced the effectiveness to 66%. This rate continued to decrease to 31% in the 5th month.

Many experts say that people at high risk of complications or death may need a fourth dose. The CDC previously released data showing that the second and third doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine, Moderna, were less effective. than with the Omicron variant.

Besides South Korea, Sweden is also preparing to inject the 4th dose of the vaccine to its people. The recommended group is people 80 years of age and older. According to health authorities, the 4th dose should be given at least 4 months after the third dose. Before Korea and Sweden, Israel implemented this strategy.

Thuc Linh (Follow Reuters)

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