More than 90 percent of the top priority group for coronavirus vaccinations agree to get the jab, health authorities said last week. That includes 90 percent of patients in nursing homes under the age of 65 who say they are willing to accept AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which has not been proven for older patients.
Some 344,181 or a whopping 93.8 percent of all 366,959 people in the top priority group for vaccination will get the jab. Some 186,659 or 92.7 percent of 201,464 patients under 65 and medical professionals in nursing homes agreed to get the AstraZeneca vaccine.
But the government is holding a gun to their head, saying anyone who refuses the jab this time, which is overwhelmingly likely to be from AstraZeneca, will not have the opportunity again until after November.
“We won’t restrict workers at vulnerable facilities who refuse vaccination from continuing to work there, but we’ll make sure that they are tested for the virus once a week,” a government official said.
Anyone who at first refuses but changes their mind by the time vaccinations are due at their designated facility will be able to get the injection.
The daily tally of new infections slightly fell below 400 with 332 cases as of Monday morning after it soared above 600 on Feb. 16 and then stood at around 400 for a week.
Twenty more people have been infected with the U.K. variant, bringing the total number of patients with coronavirus variants to 119.
“We will have to wait until the middle of this week to determine whether the current number of infections is stabilizing,” Health Minister Kwon Deok-cheol said on Sunday. “If need be, we may have to consider tightening lockdown again.”
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