South Korea will achieve herd immunity from COVID-19 by the autumn, its prime minister said, despite a later start to the nation’s vaccination program.
The country was one of the first hit by the novel coronavirus pandemic last year and became a role model for its mass testing and aggressive contact tracing measures.
But Covid-19 vaccinations have been much slower. Health officials only started inoculating medical staff in hospitals and care homes late last month.
The aim is to give some 800,000 people the jab over the next month using vaccines produced by Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech.
The Prime Minister defended the later rollout and said it allowed South Korean officials to see how the vaccine had fared elsewhere.
He said, “You know that Koreans are the master of speed. It’s not an easy goal to achieve but we aim to complete the first set of vaccinations on 70% of our population by the end of… September.”