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S Korea to start giving fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccine by month-end

SEOUL (CNA) – South Korea will begin giving out fourth doses of COVID-19 vaccines this month and supply millions of additional home test kits to ease shortages amid a surge in Omicron infections, authorities confirmed yesterday.

The surge has pushed daily cases to records, but widespread vaccination, with first booster shots received by more than 57 per cent of the population of 52 million, has helped limit deaths and serious infections.

High-risk groups will be the first to get the fourth dose, in effect a second booster shot, Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol told a COVID-19 response meeting.

“We’re planning to provide fourth shots to those who live in nursing homes and care facilities and others with declined immunisation, in light of a recent increase of infections among people aged 60 or older,” he said.

At least 44.22 million people, or 86.2 per cent of the population, are considered fully vaccinated.

Sunday’s 54,619 new cases took the tally of infections to 1,405,246, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

The country’s death toll rose by 21 to 7,102.


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