Almost all youth COVID-19 patients not fully vaccinated: education minister

SEOUL– Almost all of the children and teenagers confirmed to have COVID-19 in the past two weeks were found to have not completed their vaccination, the education minister said Monday.

Of a total of 2,990 youths who tested positive, 99.8 percent, or 2,986, had only received the first jab of a COVID-19 vaccine or none, Minister Yoo Eun-hae said during a meeting with superintendents of education offices across the country.

One in five coronavirus patients is aged 18 or under, with a daily average of 564 students catching the virus recently, according to the education ministry. The number of student patients has jumped since the first week of November.

“Special focus and support are needed for those aged between 12 and 15, an age group showing a substantially low vaccination completion rate of 14.8 percent,” Yoo said, noting the infection rate has fallen in age groups with high vaccination rates, including high school students.

But the infection rate among elementary and middle school students has increased over the past month, Yoo added, calling upon students and their parents to actively participate in the national inoculation scheme.

South Korea kicked off the vaccination program for most of the teenage population in the fourth quarter of this year, much later than other age groups.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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