Vaccinations begin for some teens and pregnant women
Vaccinations for adolescents aged 16 and 17 and pregnant women kicked off Monday.
Vaccinations for minors aged 16 to 17, or for those born between 2004 and 2005, began Monday and will continue until Nov. 13, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Center (KDCA).
The minors will be administered Pfizer shots for both their first and second jabs with three weeks in between doses.
As of the start of the day on Monday, the vaccine reservation rate among 16- and 17-year-olds was 55.1 percent, according to health authorities.
The KDCA requires a parent or guardian to accompany the minor for their vaccinations.
If this is not possible, minors must submit a signed consent form to the doctor administering the vaccine, indicating that the guardian allows the minor to receive the jab.
The consent form can be downloaded from the KDCA website.
After vaccination, health authorities advise that the minors take two to three days of rest and avoid intense exercise for about one week.
The vaccinated students are not automatically exempt from school, but if they have headaches, muscle aches or fevers, the Ministry of Education said that they may be excused up to three school days, including the day the vaccine was administered, without being marked absent.
Students must submit a vaccination certificate to receive the excused absence.
The Pfizer vaccine’s more serious side effects recognized by the Korean government are anaphylaxis, or a severe allergic reaction; myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle; and pericarditis, or inflammation of the heart’s outer lining.
According to data by the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters (CDC), there have been reported cases of myocarditis and pericarditis among adolescents, notably male adolescents.
Both myocarditis and pericarditis are curable if treated early enough.
Early symptoms of myocarditis and pericarditis include chest pain, difficulty breathing and an increased heartrate.
In Korea, there have been a total of 10 cases of myocarditis and pericarditis among 860,000 vaccinated 18-year-olds. All have been successfully treated and released from the hospital.
Vaccinated minors should be on the lookout for symptoms of anaphylaxis as well, which include skin redness, rashes, difficulty breathing, depressed consciousness and fainting.
Pregnant women also began vaccinations on Monday.
As of the start of the day Monday, 2,568 expecting moms had made reservations for the Covid-19 vaccination.
Pregnant women are considered a high-risk group because they are six times more susceptible to developing serious complications when infected with Covid-19 than non-pregnant women.
Thus, health authorities advise that they get their vaccinations.
Meanwhile, Korea added 1,050 new Covid-19 cases on Monday, the lowest number of new cases recorded in 103 days, since the nation’s fourth wave of the pandemic started in early July.
With 1,030 local infections and 20 overseas infections, the caseload now stands at 343,445.
BY LEE JIAN, KIM MIN-OOK [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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