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Vaccination at schools to begin Wednesday
Authorities decide to improve vaccine pass system for teenagersBy Im Eun-byel
Published : Dec. 12, 2021 - 18:20
Starting Wednesday, medical staff will visit schools to begin administering vaccines to those aged between 12 and 18, health authorities said.
The vaccine rollout comes as the Education Ministry on Monday released the results of a survey held Dec. 6-12 regarding the outreach vaccination program at schools.
A total of 498,062 students participated in the survey and 83,928 students said they are willing to be vaccinated through the outreach vaccination program.
Of the 83,928 students, 79.4 percent said they would prefer to be vaccinated at schools, rather than at public health centers and other facilities.
“Medical staff from public health centers will visit schools to vaccinate students. In some schools, where the demand for vaccination is low, students would have to visit public health centers,” an official from the Education Ministry said at a press briefing held Monday. “As there are students who are unsure about being vaccinated, we hope to encourage vaccination of teenagers by providing convenience.”
The Education Ministry said 80,433 students from 8,374 schools have signed up for jabs at schools, as of Saturday midnight.
Though some continue to remain skeptical about South Korea’s vaccination plan for teenagers, authorities decided that a “vaccine pass” system for teenagers is necessary to prevent contamination among students and to protect those who have not been vaccinated.
It has pledged to keep working on improving the vaccine pass system, the ministry said, after consulting experts.
Some have voiced criticism against the government for deciding to expand the vaccine pass system to youths from February.
High school student Yang Dae-rim, who runs his own YouTube channel, said Friday at a press conference that he would file a constitutional appeal along with 452 other people against the government over the COVID-19 vaccine pass system, claiming the system violates their basic human rights.
“The government is forcing people to be vaccinated in a situation where the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine are being questioned,” said lawyer Chae Myung-sung, who represents the group.
Some civic groups have continued to hold protests.
In regards to concerns against vaccinating youths, Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum wrote on his social media account Saturday, “The authorities know that there is an easier way to deal with all this. But without knowing the data, which shows definite truth, we simply could not.”
”No one, including me, can guarantee that there wouldn’t be any side effects for teenagers 100 percent. But I can say with confirmation that the level of vaccine side effects in teenagers are low and it is much safer for them to be vaccinated,“ he wrote.
As of Sunday, 36.5 percent of those aged between 12 and 17 have been fully vaccinated. Some 51.8 percent of those in the age group have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
By Im Eun-byel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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