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S.Korea cuts COVID-19 booster shot interval again as infections increase

By Hyonhee Shin

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea will further cut the interval of its coronavirus booster vaccination for all adults from four to five months to three years old, officials said on Friday, as the country grapples with the… struggling to combat record levels of infection amid concerns about the Omicron variant.

The move comes three weeks after the government reduced the boost gap for those aged 60 and over and the main group from six months to four months. The time period for all other adults is five months.

“The government has decided to shorten the gap so that all adults can receive an additional dose three months after the initial vaccination,” Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum told an internal meeting.

“Our medical response capacity is rapidly drying up as more than 7,000 new cases arise for the third day in a row.”

To date, South Korea has fully immunized nearly 94% of adults and more than 31% of the 17 million people eligible for a booster shot.

But since distancing rules were relaxed last month under the ‘live with COVID-19’ program, the country has struggled with a rising number of new cases, causing severe strains. for its health system. The total number of infections in the country since the start of the pandemic rose to 503,606 on Thursday, with 4,130 deaths.

The daily infection rate hit 7,000 people for the first time this week, just days after passing the 5,000 mark, with severe cases also hitting a peak and more cases of Omicron variant infections identified. receive.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KDCA) reported 7,022 cases on Thursday, including 852 severe cases and 63 Omicron infections.

Prime Minister Kim also issued a new administrative order for major hospitals outside the greater Seoul area to prepare 1,700 beds, as nearly all intensive care units are in the capital.

Lee Ki-il, Deputy Minister of Health Care Policy, said at a press conference that the government could re-impose social distancing restrictions, including bans on gatherings and social distancing. eating and drinking, as early as next week if the infection continues to spread.

(Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)

https://whbl.com/2021/12/10/s-korea-to-cut-covid-19-booster-shot-interval-again-as-infections-rise/ S.Korea cuts COVID-19 booster shot interval again as infections increase

JACLYN DIAZ

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