South Korea to resume wider use of AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine

SEOUL (CNA) – South Korean authorities said yesterday they will move ahead with a COVID-19 vaccination drive this week, after deciding to continue using AstraZeneca’s vaccine for all eligible people 30 years old or over.

South Korea on Wednesday suspended providing the AstraZeneca shot to people under 60 as Europe reviewed cases of blood clotting in adults.

People under 30 will still be excluded from the vaccinations resuming today because the benefits of the shot do not outweigh the risks for that age group, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said in a statement.

Three vaccinated people in South Korea are reported to have developed blood clots, with one case determined to be correlated to the vaccine, Chair of the Korea Advisory Committee on Immunisation Practices Choi Eun-hwa told a briefing.

That case was a type of blood clot considered less serious than the type being examined by European authorities, she said.

For most people, the risks of COVID-19 are far worse than the rare possibility of side effects from the vaccines, Choi said, adding that the best way to end the pandemic was to vaccinate everyone who can receive it.

But she said, “the benefits are not as great for those under 30 years old, so we will not recommend the AstraZeneca vaccine for them”.

Women in traditional costume at Gyeongboggung, Seoul, South Korea