Vaccination

  • Who should receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
    ◌ All citizens are targets for COVID-19 vaccination.
    - However, pregnant women and children under 18 years of age who were not included in the clinical trial during the vaccine development process are excluded from the vaccination targets. This may change according to additional clinical results.
  • What is the schedule for the COVID-19 vaccination?
    ◌ (When) The vaccination starts sequentially from February when the vaccine is supplied to Korea. The first vaccination will be completed for the general public by the third quarter. We have set a goal to achieve collective immunity by November.

    ◌ (Where) Vaccination is available at 250 vaccination centers nationwide (mRNA vaccines) and about 10,000 designated privately consigned medical institutions (virus vector vaccines) so that the majority of people can be vaccinated at a nearby location.
    -In addition, we plan to provide a “visiting vaccination service” to senior citizens who are living in group living facilities such as nursing homes.

    ◌ (How) We will maintain a cold chain (low-temperature storage and transportation) system for low-temperature distribution, secure sufficient vaccination personnel and institutions, conduct thorough training for vaccination personnel, establish a comprehensive adverse reaction management system, and operate a damage compensation system in order to do our best to secure the trust of the public.
  • What is the frequency and interval of vaccinations that are released in our country?
    ◌ The number of vaccinations and intervals differ for each type of vaccine released in our country.

    The number of vaccinations and intervals differ for each type of vaccine released in our country.
    DeveloperAstraZenecaJanssenPfizerModerna
    PlatformVirus vector vaccinemRNA vaccine
    No. of Vaccinations21*22
    Internal of Vaccination28 daysSubject to change21 days28 days
  • If I do not get vaccinated in time, do I have to be vaccinated later?
    ◌ If you have acute symptoms such as a fever (37.5℃ or higher) on the day you have scheduled your vaccination, you can make another appointment for vaccination after recovery.
    -However, if you refuse to be vaccinated and do not make an appointment within the period, in principle, you will be scheduled to be vaccinated later.
  • What is our nation's goal in terms of COVID-19 vaccination?
    ◌ Through COVID-19 vaccination, we aim to ① reduce the infection and death in groups vulnerable to COVID-19 such as the elderly, ② maintain the healthcare system and essential functions of the country, and ③ reduce the transmission of the infectious disease within local communities.

    ◌ To this end, we aim to achieve a vaccination rate of 70% of the entire population.
  • Why do you aim to achieve a vaccination rate of 70%, not 100%?
    ◌ We have plans to pursue the COVID-19 vaccination based on the consent of the individual, as an individual’s voluntary choice.

    ◌ However, we aim to achieve a vaccination rate of 70% through recommendations to prevent the spread of the disease into local communities and restore daily life by securing collective immunity*.
    *A state in which the majority of citizens have immunity against an infectious disease, preventing large-scale spread, and even citizens without immunity are indirectly protected
  • Who is the first target for vaccination?
    ◌ The first targets for vaccination in February are medical workers who are currently treating COVID-19 patients.
    -This is to maintain the healthcare system for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
    * In the U.S. and the U.K. as well, medical workers were vaccinated first.

    ◌ Vaccination targets will be expanded step by step, following the vaccination of the recommended groups, considering the introduction and supply of vaccines, status of vaccination (vaccination rate), and clinical results for each vaccine.
  • When can the general public be vaccinated?
    ◌ Adults (19-64 years of age) can receive COVID-19 vaccination through reservations starting in the third quarter.
    -Reservations can be made after the announcement of the targets by period, and vaccination dates will be specified through reservation.
  • I have to get vaccinated for an emergency departure due to public affairs or important economic activities. What procedure do I need to follow?
    ◌ For emergency departures due to essential public affairs or important economic activities, we will prepare procedures for receiving vaccinations* for each reason** after strict screening by the relevant ministries (Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Ministry of SMEs and Startups, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, etc.) and approval by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.

    * Vaccination is scheduled to be conducted in the second quarter.
    ** If the country requires vaccination certificates, etc.
  • What are the reasons and grounds for the order of vaccination?
    ◌ As the initial quantity of vaccines is limited, the order of vaccination is considered according to the following principle as it is inevitable to select the targets for vaccination.
    ① Risk of infection/severe disease
    ② Maintenance of medical system and other social infrastructure
    ③ Risk of transmission to vulnerable groups
    ④ Risk of exposure to COVID-19 patients
    ⑤ Applicability

    ◌ The order of vaccination is decided through the deliberation of the Vaccination Specialist Committee, taking into account the timing of supply of each vaccine, effectiveness, as well as vaccination, distribution, and storage methods.


    < Recommended Priority Targets for COVID-19 Vaccination of Major Countries >





    Recommended Priority Targets for COVID-19 Vaccination of Major Countries
    CountryRecommended Priority Targets for COVID-19 Vaccination
    WHO (Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization, SAGE)(Regional community transmission) High-risk medical personnel, senior citizens
    (Local wave) High-risk medical personnel, senior citizens (especially living in areas with high risk of transmission), stockpiling to respond to collective outbreaks
    (No patients) High-risk medical personnel, those who must travel (students, business trips, etc.), personnel working for quarantine and border protection, etc., stockpiling to respond to overseas inflow situations
    U.S. (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, ACIP)1. (Phase 1a) Workers at medical institutions, residents of nursing homes
    2. (Phase 1b) Those over 75 years of age, front-line non-medical personnel*
    * Front-line responders (firefighters, police officers), correctional facilities, those working with produce, postal services, manufacturing, grocery stores, public transportation, education, and childcare
    3. (Phase 1c) Those 65-74 years of age, those 16-64 years of age with chronic disease(s), other essential personnel*
    * Traffic and transportation, water resources, food service, housing and construction, economy (banking, etc.), information and communication technology, energy, law, media, safety, and public health
    Canada (National Advisory Committee on Immunization, NACI)1. Residents and workers of nursing homes, the elderly over 70 years of age, high-risk medical personnel, indigenous residents
    2. Workers at other medical institutions, residents and workers of group facilities, essential service personnel
    U.K. (COVID-19 Vaccine Guidelines, Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, JCVI)1. Senior citizens living in nursing homes, employees of nursing homes
    2. ≥80 years of age, medical and social health workers
    3. ≥75 years of age
    4. ≥70 years of age, the clinically vulnerable (except pregnant women, those under 16 years of age)
    5. ≥65 years of age
    6. Risk group among adults 16-65 years of age (with chronic diseases)
    7. ≥60 years of age
    8. ≥55 years of age
    9. ≥50 years of age
  • Many types of vaccines are imported into our nation. Do I have a choice for which vaccine I receive? If I do not have a choice, why not?
    ◌ In a situation where several types of vaccines are sequentially supplied, it is necessary to minimize confusion at vaccination centers by performing vaccination adhering to the vaccination order, not considering the type of vaccines, in order to safely inoculate more people as soon as possible.

    ◌ We will select the targets of the supplied vaccines through reviews by experts, taking into account the amount and characteristics of the vaccines, their safety and effectiveness, and cases of side effects.

    ◌ Currently, other countries where vaccination has begun, such as the U.S. and Europe, do not acknowledge the individual choice for vaccines either.
  • How do you decide which vaccine, among the vaccines that are to be released, is more suitable for a specific age group or target?
    ◌ It is decided through deliberation by the Vaccination Specialist Committee, taking into account the timing of supply for each vaccine, their effectiveness and safety, and conditions of storage and distribution.
  • Is the COVID-19 vaccination free?
    ◌ We provide every person with free vaccination to reduce the economic burden for vaccination costs, improve vaccination rates, and achieve collective immunity.
  • What do I have to do to get the second vaccination if I am discharged from the hospital after receiving the first vaccination in a nursing facility?
    ◌ Those who have received the first vaccination are recommended to get the second vaccination within the given interval.

    ◌ Please check the vaccination history and the vaccination institutions that can administer you the second vaccination on the COVID-19 Vaccination Management System. You can receive the second vaccination through a reservation.
  • Is it okay for people with chronic or preexisting diseases to get the vaccination? (including common adult diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes)
    ◌ People with chronic diseases are included in the recommended target for vaccination. Thus, they are recommended to receive vaccination.
  • Does an asymptomatic carrier or a person who has been infected in the past also require vaccination? Do we need to be tested before being vaccinated?
    ◌ You can receive vaccination regardless of your infection history (asymptomatic infection or not), and you do not need to be tested to decide whether or not you should be vaccinated.
  • What is the training plan for vaccination personnel?
    ◌ In consideration of the COVID-19 situation, we plan to provide online training for all personnel (consigned medical institutions, vaccination centers, local governments, administrative assistants, etc.) in early February.

    ◌ In addition, on-site training will also be provided through vaccination practice and training for nurses and workflow training for vaccination centers (waiting-preliminary medical examination-inoculation-computer input- monitoring for adverse reactions).
  • Does the government decide on the type of vaccine and the location and time of vaccination for each individual?
    ◌ As the vaccine is imported sequentially, the target group to receive the vaccine is determined, and each target group can receive vaccination.

    ◌ We will select the targets for vaccination through the screening and review by the Vaccination Review Committee considering the quantity and characteristics of each vaccine/platform, their safety and effectiveness, and cases of side effects.

    ◌ To minimize confusion at vaccination centers, we select a vaccine for each subject in this type of situation where several types of vaccines are being supplied.
  • If I was late in getting my second vaccination, should I get the first vaccination again?
    ◌ If you are late in getting your second vaccination, you should get it as soon as possible. However, it is not necessary to get the first vaccination again even if you are late in getting your second vaccination.
    * WHO, CDC, PHAC
  • Is it okay for me to get the COVID-19 vaccine along with other vaccines at the same time?
    ◌ We recommend for you to get the COVID-19 vaccination by itself because data on the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine when it is inoculated with other vaccines is insufficient.

    ◌ It is recommended to maintain an interval of at least 14 days before and after administration of other vaccines. If the COVID-19 vaccine is inadvertently administered with other vaccines within 14 days, additional vaccination is not recommended.
  • How long does it take to obtain immunity after vaccination? How large is the immunological effect of the COVID-19 vaccine?
    ◌ Generally, it takes about two weeks for protective antibodies to form after vaccination.

    ◌ According to the data published so far, it is reported that the antibodies are the highest 7 to 14 days after the second vaccination. Thus, it is very important to get the second vaccination within the recommended period for each vaccine for maximum effectiveness of the vaccine.

    ◌ However, studies on long-term immunological effects are still being conducted.
  • Can I get infected with COVID-19 even if I get vaccinated?
    ◌ Because vaccination does not guarantee 100% immunity, you may be infected with COVID-19 if immunity is not formed after vaccination, before immunity is formed, or if the effect of the formed immunity decreases over time.
    *Even if you have been vaccinated, you must follow the disinfection regulations such as wearing a mask, washing your hands, and maintaining a safe distance with others.
  • Can I gain long-term immunity against the COVID-19 through vaccination? Do I have to get vaccinated every year like for influenza?
    ◌ Studies on the duration of immunity and long-term immunogenicity of the COVID-19 vaccine are not yet sufficient, so it is not yet confirmed.

    ◌ To confirm them, follow-up studies on changes in the concentration of antibodies in the blood over time should be conducted.
  • Does a person who was infected with COVID-19 and recovered, or a person who was diagnosed with COVID-19 and is being treated, also need to get vaccinated?
    ◌ Those who are in self-isolation after being diagnosed with COVID-19 can be vaccinated after recovery.

    ◌ However, it is recommended to get the vaccination after at least 90 days to avoid the interference of the immune response system caused by the COVID-19 vaccination and the antibody therapy.
  • What if I refuse to be vaccinated?
    ◌ In order to prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19, more than the appropriate number of population is required to be vaccinated. However, the vaccination will be given with the consent of the individual considering his or her health condition.

    ◌ We advise the public to receive vaccination with reasonable judgment by providing correct information on the vaccination.
  • Are the vaccination institutions classified by vaccine type
    ◌ The vaccination centers will inoculate mRNA vaccines that require cryogenic storage and pretreatment such as thawing and dilution. Consigned medical institutions will inoculate virus vector vaccines that can be stored at 2-8℃.
  • Please tell me about the operating period, locations, and budget of vaccination centers.
    ◌ The operating period of vaccination centers will be decided in consideration of the time of introduction and quantity of each vaccine. If the vaccines are released earlier than planned, we will prepare vaccination centers so that the vaccinations can be administered as soon as possible.

    ◌ We will establish about 250 vaccination centers, at least one center per si, gun, and gu (based on administrative districts).
    - Considering the capacity, transportation convenience, space separation*, and separate parking spaces, the vaccination centers will be established first at large-scale public facilities (gymnasiums, cultural centers, etc.). If there are no such public facilities in the district, the centers will be established in a national/public hospitals (community health centers).
    * Space for filling out the form for the preliminary medical examination, the preliminary medical examination, monitoring for adverse reactions, etc.

    ◌ The government will support the cost of establishing and operating the vaccination centers.
  • What are the criteria for selecting consigned medical institutions, and how can medical institutions participate?
    ◌ If a consigned medical institution that is participating in the existing national vaccination program meets the separate standard ①*, completes the COVID-19 vaccine-related training ②**, and submits related documents ③***, it can participate after an on-site inspection of the community health center and after signing a contract.
    *① Management of vaccine storage, vaccination enforcement capacity, infection control level, space for vaccination and monitoring for adverse reaction, etc.
    **② If the institution is participating in the existing national vaccination program but its personnel have not received the basic education and refresher training within the past two years, it is possible to participate after completing the refresher training.
    ***③ Education completion certificate, participation vaccine implementation confirmation certificate, self-checklist of consigned medical institutions, etc.

    ◌ Medical institutions that want to participate can participate in the same way as the consigned medical institutions participating in the existing national vaccination program after completing basic training in accordance with the national vaccination project.
  • Is there a way to observe myself for adverse reactions after I get vaccinated at a vaccination center
    ◌ A separate space for monitoring adverse reactions will be provided within the center. We will swiftly respond to the situation if an emergency situation occurs with the prepared emergency equipment and supplies and in association with the emergency medical institutions with ambulances.
  • How do you secure the personnel at the vaccination centers?
    ◌ In principle, local governments are required to recruit medical personnel with budget support from the central government in accordance with the implementation of the vaccination for all people. According to the state of supply and demand of the personnel of each local government, the central government will offer support.

    ◌ Accordingly, the heads of local governments (cities and provinces, si, gun, and gu) have formed a Personnel Management Advisory Committee with local medical and nursing associations, and are establishing personnel management plans for local governments*.
    *According to the local governments’ vaccination plans, private human resources are secured by signing MOUs with medical organizations, hospitals, and clinics. Various measures are prepared, such as manpower rotation (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) of public health doctors, private clinic doctors, and medical staff of public hospitals

    ◌ The central government formed the Medical-Government Joint Committee* (in January), and is preparing support plans in consultation with relevant ministries considering the supply and demand of local governments.
    *(Government) Ministry of Health and Welfare, Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (Medical) Korean Medical Association, Korean Hospital Association, Korean Nurses Association
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