With several countries questioning the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine on people aged over 65, South Korea’s health experts have been reviewing whether the vaccine can be given to the elderly.
Our Jang Tae-hyun is on the line to tell us what decision they made.
Tae-hyun?

Just half an hour ago, an independent panel, the Central Pharmaceutical Affairs Advisory Committee, announced that they are putting off the decision on whether AstraZeneca can be administered to elderly people those over the age of 65.
They said that it can be given to those over the age of 18, but for those over 65, more data is needed.
It’s the second panel in the country to evaluate this vaccine.
For a fair evaluation of its safety and efficacy, South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety is getting reviews from three different expert groups.
Earlier this week, the initial review conducted by the Verification Advisory Committee concluded that AstraZeneca can be given to those over the age of 65.
The country has secured AstraZeneca’s vaccine for 10 million people, and it will get shots for an additional one.three million people through the COVAX facility in the first half of the year.
Among that number, shots for 300-thousand people will be available by March, so some people in nursing hospitals and similar facilities will be able to get this vaccine by then.
AstraZeneca was approved by the European Medicines Agency for use in all age groups but individual countries are questioning its efficacy on elderly population.
France and Germany have decided to only give the vaccine to those younger than 65 due to the lack of data about its efficacy.

Let’s move on to the COVID-19 situation here in South Korea, how are things looking today?

There was a slight drop in the number of cases with 370 recorded on Friday.
Most of the cases were from the capital region.
The country has been trying to lower the number through strict distancing measures, and as the caseload is slowly going down, they are discussing whether to ease the measures starting next week.
But health authorities are concerned about a possible outbreak after the Lunar New Year Holiday.
The changes will be announced this weekend.
That’s all for now and I’ll be back with more updates.

Reporter : tommyjang@arirang.com

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