S. Korean president says to achieve faster herd immunity over COVID-19

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SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) — South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Monday that the country will be able to achieve faster herd immunity against COVID-19 than other countries under the planned vaccination program.

Moon told at a New Year’s press conference that the preliminary vaccinations, scheduled to begin in February, planned to be completed by September and will generally form a herd immunity.

He said the remaining inoculations during the fourth quarter will almost completely form a herd immunity no later than November.

“(South) Korea will never lag behind (in achieving the herd immunity), but rather will be faster than other countries when considering the vaccination schedule and the time frame to form a herd immunity,” Moon noted.

The government announced that it had secured COVID-19 vaccine doses for 56 million people, including 10 million each from AstraZeneca and Pfizer, 20 million from Moderna, 6 million from Janssen and 10 million from the COVAX facility.

Moon vowed to offer COVID-19 vaccines to all of the country’s 52 million population free of charge in accordance with priorities, saying the COVID-19 resurgence was believed to come near to a close.

In the latest tally, the country reported 389 more cases, raising the total number to 72,729. The daily caseload fell below 400 in 54 days since Nov. 25.

The local virus spread showed signs of moderating this year as the government’s five-tier social-distancing guideline was elevated to the second-highest level, slated to be kept in place for eight weeks through Jan. 31. Enditem

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