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South Korea to vaccinate pregnant women as it races to 80% target for adults By Reuters


© Reuters.

Hyonhee Shin

SEOUL (Reuters), South Korea’s pregnant women will be able to make reservations for coronavirus vaccines this week. The country is accelerating its vaccination drive and aiming at immunizing 80% of all adult citizens by the end.

Pregnant mothers are key for the campaign. Health officials sought to encourage participation by distributing public notices and holding news conferences, stating that there is a higher chance of severe illness or death in those who have been infected.

For inoculation scheduled to start on October 18, pregnant women can register for shots starting Friday. Pfizer (NYSE:) Moderna According to Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, (KDCA), vaccines are available at NASDAQ (NASDAQ:).

Jeong Eun-kyeong, KDCA director, said that the vaccines are safe for pregnant mothers and reduce their risk of becoming seriously ill.

The KDCA reports that about 2% (of the 731 South Korea-born pregnant women) contracted the virus from August. That’s six times more than the number of 20-45 year old women.

Officials have advised women with a shorter pregnancy than 12 weeks to see a doctor before they get a shot.

As of Tuesday, 54.5 out of 52 million people in the country and 63% of adults had been fully vaccinated. Authorities plan to finish vaccinations for all adult population by October.

Next month, the government will begin to vaccinate children between 12 and 17 years old. It also plans to provide booster shots next week for those 75 and older, as well as people who work in nursing homes or care facilities.

Authorities are also mapping out a plan on how to live more normally with COVID-19, to be implemented in phases starting later this month to gradually ease distancing rules and restrictions, though masks will still be mandatory at least in the initial stages.

KDCA reports 2,028 cases on Tuesday. This is a rebound after the Korean thanksgiving Chuseok holidays.

However, the current wave of serious illnesses has been far less severe than other outbreaks. Many older and more vulnerable individuals have received vaccinations.

The number of critical cases was around 350. Total infections rose to 323,379 with 2,536 deaths.

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