To make sure there are enough vaccines, South Korea has paid deposits to several drugmakers to secure a place at or near the front of the queue when their vaccines are ready.

“We are currently doing well in reaching our goal of securing enough for 60% of the population by the end of this year. As I said, we will make sure to have enough vaccines even if we have to give up our entire deposit.”

Although Pfizer recently said its vaccine is more than 90-percent effective, getting approval from the health authorities is expected to take several weeks.
South Korea has set up a panel of 20 vaccine experts who’ll set the standards based on which the country will make vaccine purchases from companies overseas.

In the meantime, starting Friday, the South Korean government is going to start fining people who don’t wear masks when they’re required to.
In principle, you have to wear a mask anywhere you can’t keep a distance of at least two meters from others.
They’re required at all times on public transportation, and at around two dozen types of facilities, including hospitals and at any gatherings of more than 5-hundred people.
It has to be an actual mask, and not a handkerchief or scarf.
Violators could face a fine of up to 90 U.S. dollars.
Masks are not required when eating, drinking or smoking.
As of Thursday, South Korea reported 143 new cases of COVID-19, staying in the triple digits for the fifth day in a row.
If the number doesn’t go down, there could be stricter social distancing measures in the days to come.
Choi Won-jong, Arirang News.

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