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One in 10 S. Koreans vaccinated as inoculation rollout revs up

28 May 2021 19:11

SEOUL. KAZINFORM South Korea has inoculated over 10 percent of its population as the country ramps up its COVID-19 immunization drive, health authorities said Friday.

An accumulated 5.2 million people had been administered with their first shots as of 5 p.m. as part of the nationwide campaign that kicked off on Feb. 26, accounting for 10.1 percent of the country's 52 million population, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said, Yonhap reports.

The country, which launched its vaccine rollout in late February, aims to vaccinate 13 million people by the end of June and reach herd immunity by November.

The authorities said the inoculation drive has sped up recently as belated AstraZeneca bottles started arriving in the country early last week.

The country plans to allow people who have received their first jabs to take their masks off outdoors starting in July as its first step to normalize people's everyday lives.

Health authorities also started to offer shots to South Koreans aged from 65 to 74 on Thursday.

The country also started to allow younger people who are not yet officially eligible to receive shots to apply for leftover jabs through popular mobile platforms, including Kakao and Naver, on Thursday.

The country plans to offer inoculations to those aged from 50 to 59 starting in July. High school seniors will receive shots ahead of the college entrance exam scheduled for later this year.

On Friday, the country reported 587 more COVID-19 cases, falling below 600, the KDCA said. The total caseload was increased to 138,898.