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Education Ministry’s ‘vaccine cartoon’ attacked

Cut from cartoon shared by Education Ministry (Ministry of Education)
Cut from cartoon shared by Education Ministry (Ministry of Education)

The Ministry of Education is again drawing fire over sharing cartoons encouraging students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 despite the court order suspending vaccine mandate measures on education facilities for young students.

On Friday, the ministry posted a cartoon on its social media account, titled “Why did these friends have to take out tteokbokki (rice cakes in a red chili sauce)?”

The cartoon shows two students going to a diner for tteokbokki. The owner asks them whether they have been vaccinated. A student answers she has not been vaccinated, and the owner responds, “Then take out is available.”

The student explains to her friend she is scared to be vaccinated because of the side effects. Her friend encourages vaccination, delivering the disease control authorities’ stance.

The student, persuaded by her friend, says she will be vaccinated, and the two promise to have tteokbokki after vaccination.

The post garnered public criticism, asking whether tteokbokki was a reason to get innoculated and who would take responsibility for any side effects from the vaccine.

Meanwhile, a local court suspended the vaccine pass mandate at cram schools, reading rooms and book cafes, saying that the mandate infringes on students’ learning rights.

Though the Ministry of Health and Welfare has made an appeal, the mandate measure on the facilities are on suspension. The vaccine mandate rule is to be implemented from March for those aged 12 and above at multiuse facilities such as restaurants, cinemas and more.

The Education Ministry said it would continue to encourage vaccination of students, regardless of the suspension.

As of Tuesday midnight, 60.4 percent of those aged between 13 and 18 have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Some 77.4 percent have received the first shot.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)

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