Health officials have vaccinated only around 880,000 people in Korea over the last 34 days, or a measly 1.7 percent of the population. That boils down to 26,000 people a day on average. Last Sunday, only 11 people were vaccinated in the entire country. The pace of vaccination is a disgrace.
Korea has the capacity to vaccinate many, many more people. Health officials said late last month that up to 1.15 million people a day could be vaccinated, which means that only around two percent of capacity is being used. Experts say 20,000 medical facilities could be harnessed to boost capacity. During the 2009 swine flu pandemic, which was a lot less dramatic, the country vaccinated around 82,000 a day.
The main reason for the slow pace of inoculation is the government’s attempt to deceive the public amid a dire shortage of vaccines. It has only managed to secure 2.69 million doses of coronavirus vaccines, which would run out in just three days if Korea’s full capacity was used. So while it would be common sense to inoculate people as quickly as possible in the middle of a pandemic, the snail’s pace suggests that something else is going on. Pro-government media are pumping out news every day making it look as if vaccinations are progressing smoothly and in large numbers, but they are clearly not.
Other countries are racing against time to inoculate as many people as possible. The U.S. is managing to administer 2.75 million doses a day on average. So far, 29 percent of the U.S. population, or 96 million people, have received at east their first shot. But Korea is progressing on a par with backwaters like the UAE, Uruguay and Chile. That the government still thinks it has something to be proud of in managing the pandemic is pathetic.
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