The South Korean government has urged citizens to take flu vaccines after the country recorded 48 deaths. Government officials clarified that the 48 recorded deaths are not connected to the vaccination. Most of the deaths were a result of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular conditions and other illnesses that are completely unrelated to the flu vaccines, officials said. The South Korean government plans to vaccinate at least 30 million of the 54 million residents of the country.
As the flu season approaches, many countries around the world are administering vaccines to citizens to avoid a flu epidemic coupled with the coronavirus pandemic already raging all over the world. Authorities in South Korea disposed of 5 million flu vaccines last week following reports that the vaccines were not stored under the right temperature. Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) revealed that the vaccines that are being given to citizens are safe and important to avoid an epidemic.
“After reviewing death cases so far, it is not the time to suspend a flu vaccination program since vaccination is very crucial this year, considering the COVID-19 outbreaks,” Director Jeong Eun-Kyun of the KDCA announced.
Many governments around the world are bothered about the continued failure to produce a coronavirus vaccine after it has killed over a million people around the globe. The US CDC has also warned on its website that though the flu vaccine we will not work against COVID-19, it is still important to take it to reduce allergy symptoms, and other critical conditions such as wheezing, and shortness of breath adding that taking a flu shot will help the government conserve health care funds that are already overstretched.
During the flu season, hospitals are stretched beyond capacity and medical practitioners have warned that a flu epidemic combined with the raging pandemic could spell doom for the health sectors in countries around the world. The CDC also explains that flu vaccines will help keep people out of hospitals where they might be exposed to viruses and germs and help medical experts concentrate on battling COVID-19.
“This is a critical year for us to try to take flu as much off the table as we can,” CDC director Dr. Robert Redfield explained.
In South Korea, the death toll recorded consists of mainly older people, around 60-80 years though a 17-year-old also died. The KDCA announced that by Friday, over 14 million South Koreans, 9.4 million of whom are children, old citizens, and pregnant women had been vaccinated.