Most overseas vaccinations now recognized for all

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Most overseas vaccinations now recognized for all

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) announced in a press release Friday that they will accept vaccination records from abroad for foreign nationals. [KDCA]

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) announced in a press release Friday that they will accept vaccination records from abroad for foreign nationals. [KDCA]

 
Health authorities altered the contentious vaccine policy on foreign nationals Thursday morning to recognize their overseas vaccinations going forward.
 
According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), foreigners will no longer be required to submit a quarantine exemption certificate to have their vaccinations that were administered abroad registered onto the Korean health system.
 
This also opens the doors for those expats who received their first and second shots outside Korea to receive their booster shot as well.
 
Until now, Korea has not accepted foreign nationals’ overseas inoculation records unless individuals also had a quarantine exemption certification, issued by the Korean government under limited circumstances such as for emergency business trips and humanitarian missions.
 
Under the newly revised policy, foreigners are able to get their overseas jabs registered onto the Korean health system by submitting to their local health centers a proof of identification such as a foreign residence card, a passport or a domestic residence card; and an official vaccination certificate issued by the health center or country that administered the vaccination.
 
The KDCA said that the vaccination certificates must be the original copy.
 
Once registered, they will receive both a physical and a digital copy of their new, Korean Covid-19 vaccination certificate. The digital version will be made available through the COOV app, Korea’s mobile application for Covid-19 vaccination records and status.
 
The KDCA said that they will only recognize the eight vaccines approved by the World Health Organization for overseas vaccines, which includes Moderna, Pfizer, Janssen and AstraZeneca vaccines.
 
The same standards have already been applied to Korean nationals who were vaccinated overseas.
 
The KDCA’s previous vaccine policy was deemed discriminatory because while Koreans were able to get their overseas vaccine records registered, foreign nationals could not.
 
Officially considered unvaccinated by the Korean health system, most expats were practically barred from numerous public facilities as vaccine passes were expanded Monday to include cafes, restaurants, libraries, sports stadiums, and any public events in which more than 100 people gather.
 
An official from the KDCA told the JoongAng Daily that the reason for the delay in recognizing foreign nationals’ overseas vaccine records was because of their “step-by-step” Covid-19 policy.
 
“We wanted to recognize overseas vaccination in a phased manner because we just cannot be sure of the consequences of our policies,” said the KDCA official.
 
“There was a chance that the policy could give way to sudden surges in infections, so we started with Korean nationals then expanded the system [to better monitor and have more control over the process].”

BY LEE JIAN [lee.jian@joongang.co.kr]
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