‘Nation to reach herd immunity by September next year’


‘Nation to reach herd immunity by September next year’


Jan. 16, 2020

Global Korean Post


By Elena Kubitzki and Lee Jihae


The commissioner of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency on Dec. 28 said the government plans to reach herd immunity nationwide by September next year.

Herd immunity refers to resistance to an infectious disease based on a large section of a population having antibodies against it and thus preventing the virus from spreading.

Dr. Jeong Eun-Kyeong said in a regular briefing, “Our goal is to start vaccinations in February or March next year and gradually expand them to the scale of establishing herd immunity no later than the third quarter. We also plan to secure and administer vaccines.”

“Much of the (vaccine) supply is focused on the first through third quarters next year, so we will strive to maximize the setup of vaccine infrastructure, form herd immunity by administering as many vaccines within a short period of time and prevent transmission in communities based on this.”

“The 46 million vaccine doses purchased by the government are for 51.83 million people, or 88.8% of the national population,” she said. “Because academic opinions say 60%-70% of the population needs to form antibodies to ordinarily build herd immunity, this is sufficient to reach herd immunity in the country.”

Cheong Wa Dae on Dec. 29 said the American pharmaceutical company Moderna will supply 20 million vaccines to Korea.

President Moon Jae-in and Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel on Dec. 28 agreed on the supply over the phone, Cheong Wa Dae Spokesperson Kang Min-seok said.

The number of doses that Moderna will supply is double the 10 million originally agreed on by both sides.