South Korea will allow the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for people aged 65 and over, Prime Minister Chun Xiequun said Thursday, a move that would allow the country to speed up vaccinations.
The country has released a vaccine since the last week of February, starting with the elderly and healthcare workers. But has excluded more than 370,000 people over 65 from nursing homes due to a lack of clinical trial data for that age group.
“Vaccinations for people 65 years and over have been postponed. Because there is no evidence that the AstraZeneca vaccine is effective. However, data was recently released in the UK to show effectiveness in older people,” Chung said at a government meeting.
South Korea will vaccinate 376,000 patients and employees aged 65 and over in nursing homes and other facilities starting this month. Kowna Yoon-wok, the spokesperson for the Korea Agency for Disease Control and Prevention (KDCA), said in a briefing.