As the primary dose of the COVID-19 vaccine recorded 62.6% as of the 10th, it is expected to achieve the target of ‘70% of the first dose before Chuseok’ next week. The government is trying to drive this momentum and is trying to figure out how to maximize the speed and rate of vaccination. After Chuseok, inoculation methods and incentives are expected to change.
①Inoculation interval from 6 weeks to 4 weeks again?
According to the Central Quarantine Countermeasures Headquarters (Bangdaebon) on the 10th, only 37.8% of the people who received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of this day still account for only 37.8% of the total population. In a situation where the fourth pandemic led by the delta mutation lasts for more than two months and there are around 2,000 new confirmed cases every day, it is important to raise the vaccination completion rate. After the first 70% vaccination before Chuseok, it is necessary to achieve the second goal of ‘70% vaccination completed by the end of October’ as soon as possible.
There is a way. The first and second doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are currently 6 weeks, will be returned to 4 weeks. The inoculation interval, which was originally 4 weeks for Pfizer and 3 weeks for Moderna, was unified to 4 weeks for smooth vaccination, but was temporarily changed to 6 weeks last month due to a disruption in the supply of Moderna vaccines.
If this is reversed and the second vaccination can be advanced by two weeks between the ages of 18-49, the achievement of completion of vaccination for 70% of the population will also be accelerated. The Moderna vaccine, which had been punctured until last month, took a breather in supply, with 8,458,000 doses received this month. The government is in a position to monitor the supply and demand situation until October and consider whether to readjust the vaccination interval.
② Secondary vaccination with same-day reservation of residual vaccine
Instead of increasing the vaccination interval, the government decided to increase the use of residual vaccines. Currently, only the first vaccination is possible to receive the remaining vaccines with same-day reservations through social networking services (SNS) such as Naver or KakaoTalk. The COVID-19 Vaccination Response Promotion Team is changing the system to allow reservations for up to the second vaccination with residual vaccine.
With this as an opportunity, the promotion team is also considering a plan to allow individuals to adjust the interval between the 1st and 2nd vaccinations at intervals of 3 to 6 weeks without any special reason through same-day reservations for residual vaccines. Kim Ki-nam, head of the inoculation planning division of the promotion group, said, “It is tentatively planned after Chuseok because of the time it takes to improve the system,” about the timing of the change of the residual vaccine reservation.
However, there are concerns that if there is a change in the interval between vaccinations or the method of using residual vaccines, the possibility of incorrect vaccination may increase at the outsourced medical institution that conducts vaccination. Recently, there have been several cases of misinoculation, such as using a vaccine that has already passed the expiration date.
In order to prevent misinoculation, the promotion team had medical institutions post a ‘Vaccine of the Day’ notice in the inoculation room and waiting room that specifies the type and expiration date of the vaccine to be vaccinated on the same day. In addition, by improving the COVID-19 vaccination computer system, when there is a vaccine with an expiration date of less than 72 hours, a warning message will be displayed so that medical institutions can easily recognize it.
③ Expand incentives for completing vaccinations instead of making them compulsory
In order to maximize the completion rate of vaccination, it is necessary to change the minds of people who want to get the vaccine or not. The US has made vaccination compulsory for 100 million people. However, the government clearly drew a line that it would not consider making it compulsory. Kwon Jun-wook, the second deputy head of the Central Quarantine Countermeasures Headquarters, said, “Korea has a relatively low rejection of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The government policy is to encourage vaccination as an incentive for those who have completed vaccination instead of making it compulsory. With the Chuseok holiday as an opportunity, incentives for those who have completed vaccination have already been partially expanded. Excluding those who have completed vaccinations from the limit of the number of private gatherings, 6-8 people were allowed to gather by October 3rd. “We plan to continue and expand incentives for those who have completed vaccinations in the future,” said Lee Ki-il, the first supervisor of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters.
Park So-young reporter [email protected]
Balance to see the world, Hankook Ilbo Copyright © Hankookilbo