Korea limits vaccine passes to 6-month validity

Korea limits vaccine passes to 6-month validity

A medical worker watches monitors showing intensive care units for COVID-19 patients at a university hospital in Daejeon, Monday. Yonhap

Gov’t decides not to move to next phase of ‘Living with COVID-19’ plan

By Bahk Eun-ji

The government said Monday that its COVID-19 vaccination certificate will expire six months after secondary inoculation so as to encourage more people to get booster shots, while patients will be placed in home treatment unless their condition is serious enough to be hospitalized.

The health authorities added that the country will not move to a second phase of “Living with COVID-19” due to the coronavirus resurgence and hospital bed shortages, and instead remain in the current first stage for four more weeks along with “special quarantine measures.”

These measures come as the number of daily new infections has remained at around 4,000 for nearly a week, and critical cases and deaths are rapidly rising along with breakthrough infections.

Earlier in the day, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) raised the risk level for the current virus situation to “very high” for all parts of the country, the highest level in its five-tier evaluation system, from last week’s “high.”

Last week only the greater Seoul area was categorized as “very high” and levels in other regions were either “medium” or “high.”

Korea limits vaccine passes to 6-month validity

Jeong Eun-kyeong, head of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, announces the government’s new anti-COVID-19 measures at the Government Complex Seoul, Monday. Yonhap

“We’ve overcome crises multiple times so far, but we are now having another crisis as another level,” President Moon Jae-in said during a special virus response meeting with relevant government organization heads at Cheong Wa Dae.

“The number of new patients, critical patients and deaths are all increasing, and we are running short of hospital beds,” he noted. “If we fail to overcome this crisis, our attempt to return to normality may gradually fail. We need more vigilance and a united response more than ever.”

Under the new measures, vaccination certificates, called “vaccine passes” that are required for people to use multiuse facilities, will have a limited validity of six months after their second inoculation. This is to encourage more people to receive booster shots as breakthrough infections have been on the rise especially among elderly citizens ― who received their two-dose vaccines relatively earlier than other age groups ― as the efficacy of the vaccines is waning.

Currently the authorities are encouraging people aged over 60 and staff at geriatric facilities to receive booster shots four months after their first two shots, and five months for those in their 50s. They plan to have people aged between 18 and 49 to get booster shots after five months as well.

The government is preparing a relevant system with the aim of implementing its validity from Dec. 20.

“The urgent task is to have people get their third shots as soon as possible,” Moon said. “We need to change the perception that the third shot is additional, to making it basic, and getting this third shot constitutes full vaccination.”

To deal with the shortage of hospital beds for coronavirus patients, all patients will initially undergo home treatment.

They will be hospitalized only when their conditions are serious or their stay at home may spread the virus to others.

Regarding home treatment, the government will have medical centers in the community monitor their condition and provide home care kits comprising thermometers, oximeters and fever reducers.

It will establish temporary treatment centers at regions where those in home treatment can get examinations and treatment if their condition worsens.

The authorities also strongly recommended children aged between 12 and 17 to get vaccinated as their vaccination rate is still low amid concerns about side effects, while infections among them are increasing.

They said they discussed tightening the cap of participants at private gatherings or visitors to restaurants and cafes, as well as expanding the vaccine pass to people aged under 18, but decided ascertain public opinion first.

News Related

OTHER NEWS

MS-Blizzard deal prompts Korean game firms to seek more metaverse M&As

By Baek Byung-yeul Nexon, NCSOFT, Netmarble and other Korean game companies are expected to seek more mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in metaverse- and non-fungible token (NFT)-related businesses, sparked by Microsoft’s ... Read more »

Storytelling baristas appointed as Starbucks ambassadors

2022 Starbucks Korea ambassadors Yang Jung-eun, left, and Seo U-ram hold cups of coffee at a Starbucks coffee shop in Seoul, on Tuesday. Courtesy of Starbucks Korea By Kim Jae-heun ... Read more »

Korea remains No. 2 most popular content provider on Netflix in last quarter of 2021

A version of the Netflix series “Squid Game” is played on a mobile phone in this picture taken Sept. 30, 2021. Reuters-Yonhap Korea remained the No. 2 supplier of popular ... Read more »

More people place hopes on lottery tickets as pandemic drags on

By Lee Kyung-min Kim Sun-jin, 20, has been buying a lottery ticket each month, ever since she was let go from her part-time job at an eatery in Seoul in ... Read more »

Kyochon F&B hit for frequent discounts after price hikes

Kyochon F&B CEO and Chairman So Jin-se speaks during an online press conference held on Oct. 22, 2020. Courtesy of Kyochon F&B By Kim Jae-heun Kyochon F&B, Korea’s largest fried ... Read more »

S-Oil to collaborate with Saudi Aramco on low-carbon energy development

S-Oil CEO Hussain A. Al-Qahtani, left, and Saudi Aramco’s Vice President of Chemicals and Hydrogen Olivier Thorel pose after signing MOUs at “Saudi Arabia ― Korea Investment Forum for Smart ... Read more »

Yoon calls for more investment, exchanges between S. Korea, Russia

Yoon Suk-yeol (R), the presidential candidate of the main opposition People Power Party, poses for a photo with Russian Ambassador to South Korea Andrey Kulik during their meeting at the ... Read more »

A battle of lion, tiger and turtle? Art of face reading offers peculiar take on presidential race

Between various scandals, the leaking of private conversations and talks of possible unified candidacies, support for the three major candidates in Korea’s ongoing presidential race has fluctuated unpredictably throughout. But ... Read more »

Woori Financial marks sharp rise in market cap after successful privatization

Woori Financial Group, headquartered in central Seoul, is enjoying the sharpest rise among the country’s major banking groups this year in terms of market capitalization, after fully privatizing on Dec. ... Read more »

Kakao Bank CEO's huge stake sale extends debate on betrayal of shareholders' trust

Yoon Ho-young, fourth from left, then co-CEO of Kakao Bank, poses with other dignitaries during a ceremony to mark the company’s launch at the Floating Island Convention Center in southern ... Read more »

Lee Seo-jin takes stab at comedy with 'Dr. Park's Clinic'

Actors Ra Mi-ran, left, and Lee Seo-jin pose during the online press conference for Tving’s new comedy series, “Dr. Park’s Clinic,” Tuesday. Courtesy of Tving By Lee Gyu-lee Actor Lee ... Read more »

KENTECH criticized for 'ill-prepared' commendation award

The construction site of Korea Institute of Energy Technology (KENTECH) in Naju, South Jeolla Province. Yonhap KEPCO CEO Cheong Seung-il By Lee Kyung-min Criticism is mounting over the government’s plan ... Read more »

[Contribution] Korea's growth prospects optimistic, despite inflation, rising debt

Florencia T. Castro-Leal By Florencia T. Castro-Leal Korea’s handling of the pandemic and policy response have been one of the best in the world. The effective measures have both minimized ... Read more »

Samsung battling TSMC, Intel to be global leader in foundry business

By Baek Byung-yeul Samsung Electronics is facing growing competition with its rivals in the foundry business, as TSMC and Intel are expanding their investments in the rapidly growing, contracted semiconductor ... Read more »

SillaJen investors likely to take legal action

SillaJen shareholders call for the trading of the biotech company’s stocks to be resumed in front of the Korea Exchange’s building on Yeouido, Seoul, Tuesday. Yonhap Final decision for biotech ... Read more »

LG Energy Solution sets historically high bids in IPO subscription

Customers visit a sales office of Shinhan Investment in Seoul, Tuesday, to place bids for LG Energy Solution shares ahead of its initial public offering. Yonhap By Lee Min-hyung The ... Read more »

Labor issue potential risk to SK ecoplant's IPO

SK ecoplant CEO Park Kyoung-il presides over an extraordinary meeting of shareholders at the company headquarters building in Seoul in this December 2021 file photo. Courtesy of SK ecoplant By ... Read more »

FTC fines feared to prompt foreign regulators to sanction local shippers

A Hyundai Merchant Marine containership using eco-friendly bio heavy oil is seen in this file photo. Courtesy of HMM Taiwanese, Singaporean firms consider filing lawsuits By Park Jae-hyuk A decision ... Read more »

Defense minister stresses military's 'will, efforts' for OPCON transfer assessment

Defense Minister Suh Wook (C) attends a meeting with top commanders to discuss progress in South Korea’s efforts to retake wartime operational control from the United States at the defense ... Read more »

BTS-inspired webtoon '7FATES: CHAKHO' is making waves, but what is 'chakho'?

The BTS-inspired webtoon, “7FATES: CHAKHO” / Courtesy of Naver Webtoon By Dong Sun-hwa As many people had expected, the BTS-inspired webtoon, “7FATES: CHAKHO,” turned out to be an instant hit, ... Read more »

Omicron set to become dominant strain this week

People wait in line to get swabbed for the coronavirus at a testing center near Seoul City Hall, Wednesday. Newsis New infections soar to over 5,000 for first time in ... Read more »

Korean currency's value falls sharply against US dollars

gettyimagesbank South Korea’s currency has depreciated against the U.S. dollar more steeply than other currencies due to soaring prices of raw materials, the country’s heavy dependence on the Chinese economy ... Read more »

Monday's launches ‘tactical guided missiles' under production

The photo, released by North Korea`s official Korean Central News Agency on Jan. 18, 2022, shows what the North claims to be a tactical guided missile being launched the previous ... Read more »

Govt. to finalize extra budget plan this week

SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) — The government will convene an extra Cabinet meeting this week to finalize a supplementary budget plan aimed at helping small businesses hit by the pandemic, ... Read more »

US envoy urges NK to cease ‘unlawful' activities, engage in dialogue

South Korean citizens watch a TV news report on North Korea`s launch of a ballistic missile at Seoul Station in central Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)The US envoy for North Korea ... Read more »

Fed rate hikes not entirely dampers on stock market: AllianceBerstein

David Wong, senior investment strategist at AllianceBerstein, speaks during an online press conference held in Seoul, Tuesday. Courtesy of AllianceBerstein By Lee Min-hyung The U.S. Fed’s planned rate hikes will ... Read more »

Hyundai Engineering IPO raises concerns over value of Hyundai E&C

Hyundai E&C CEO Yoon Young-joon, left, and Hyundai Engineering CEO Kim Chang-hag / Courtesy of each company By Park Jae-hyuk Hyundai Engineering’s planned listing on the benchmark KOSPI market next ... Read more »

Lee pledges to create over 3m jobs through digital, energy transformation

Ruling party presidential candidate Lee Jae-myung (C) announces his job growth vision during a campaign event at the Democratic Party headquarters in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)Ruling party presidential candidate Lee ... Read more »

LG Chem advances into plastic waste recycling, eyeing replacing fossil fuels

LG Chem’s complex in South Chungcheong Province / Courtesy of LG Chem By Baek Byung-yeul LG Chem is venturing into the chemical recycling of plastic waste as part of its ... Read more »

Shaman in the house? Yoon Suk-yeol says no

Rep. Kwon Young-se, head of the presidential election campaign committee for main opposition People Power Party’s presidential nominee Yoon Suk-yeol, announces the decision to disband a networking subcommittee during a press conference ... Read more »

Gov't to offer up to 5 million won in medical fee assistance to students with post-vaccine symptoms

A health worker wearing protective gear prepares for visitors in the sub-zero temperatures at a temporary screening clinic for the coronavirus in Seoul, Jan. 14. AP-Yonhap The government plans to ... Read more »

Lee, Yoon to have first one-on-one TV debate next week

Democratic Party candidate Lee Jae-myung (left) and People Power Party presidential candidate Yoon Suk-youl (Yonhap)The presidential candidates of the ruling and main opposition parties will have their first one-on-one TV ... Read more »

Military reports 24 more COVID-19 cases

Ministry of National Defense (Yonhap)South Korea’s military on Tuesday reported 24 additional COVID-19 cases, including 23 breakthrough infections, raising the total caseload among its personnel to 3,657. Of the new ... Read more »

[Graphic News] South Korean artists' activities nearly halved in 2021

South Korean artists released an average 3.8 artistic works to the public in 2021, a sharp drop from 7.8 pieces in 2018, attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic, a government survey ... Read more »

Daily cases back above 4,000 amid Omicron woes

A medical worker wearing protective gear in a booth prepares to take samples in the sub-zero temperatures at a temporary screening clinic for the coronavirus in Seoul, Jan. 14. AP-Yonhap ... Read more »

Moon holds phone talks with Abu Dhabi crown prince, voices condolences over attack victims

President Moon Jae-in delivers a keynote speech during the opening ceremony of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2022 at an exhibition center in Dubai on Monday. ADSW is a ... Read more »

Korean banks remain conservative toward cryptocurrency industry

Seen above is a real-time trading price of bitcoin at an office of Bithumb in Seoul on Jan. 10. Yonhap By Lee Min-hyung Korean banks are taking a cautious attitude ... Read more »

N. Korea says it confirmed accuracy of tactical guided missiles in test-firing

This photo, released by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency on Tuesday, shows a tactical guided missile being launched the previous day. (KNCA-Yonhap)North Korea said Tuesday that it conducted ... Read more »

Seoul rebuts Japanese Dokdo claims

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Yonhap)Seoul on Monday strongly protested against Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi’s remarks that renewed territorial claims over South Korea’s easternmost islets of Dokdo, demanding an immediate ... Read more »

Yoon-related stocks spike after clearing 'Kim phone call risk'

The main opposition People Power Party’s presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol is seen with his wife Kim Keon-hee on MBC’s program airing contents of phone calls between Kim and a YouTuber, ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic