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Five Koreans die after being vaccinated against the flu, causing fear of the vaccine

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Seoul (Reuters)-Authorities say five people have died after being vaccinated against the flu in South Korea in the past week, and seasonal vaccination programs are expanding to prevent potential COVID-19 complications As was done, he expressed concern about the safety of the vaccine.

File photo: Healthcare professionals will attach a notice regarding the suspension of the influenza vaccination program at the entrance of a hospital in the Sejong Special Autonomous Region of South Korea on September 22, 2020. Yonhapvia REUTERS

Authorities said there was no reason to believe that death was related to the vaccine, but investigations, including after death, were underway.

“It’s hard for us to make a clear statement,” Deputy Health Minister Kim Gan-lip said in a briefing on death, including a 17-year-old boy and a man in his 70s, on Wednesday.

Only a few weeks after the national vaccine program was suspended due to safety concerns, deaths became a major headline in South Korea.

Authorities announced last month that they plan to procure 20% more influenza vaccine than the previous year and inoculate 30 million people to prevent overloading the healthcare system from patients exposed to influenza and COVID-19.

However, the start of a free jab program for about 19 million qualified individuals was suspended for three weeks after it was discovered that about 5 million refrigerated doses were exposed to room temperature during transportation to medical facilities. it was done.

Increasing public confidence in the vaccine is a major world of the year, as some countries are rushing to approve the COVID-19 vaccine before complete safety and efficacy studies are completed. It has become a major issue.

Korean influenza vaccines are sourced from various pharmaceutical companies, including LG Chem Ltd 051910.KS Boryung Pharm Co. Ltd. Boryung Biopharma Co. Ltd., a division of 003850.KS.. Boryon officials told Reuters that the company was aware of the reported death, but did not make immediate comments. LG Chem said the company will follow government advice.

The 17-year-old boy, who died on Friday, was the first death noted by authorities following receipt of the vaccine. The boy died two days after being vaccinated against the flu in Incheon near the metropolitan area.

A recent case was a man in his 70s who suffered from Parkinson’s disease and arrhythmia. He died in Daegu on Wednesday the day after receiving the flu vaccine. Daegu officials said the man had been vaccinated since 2015 without any prior side effects.

Authorities said 8.3 million people have been vaccinated against the free flu vaccine since reopening on October 13, with about 350 reported side effects. According to Yonhap News Agency, the maximum number of deaths associated with seasonal influenza vaccination was six in 2005.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, confidence in vaccines was an increasingly important challenge for public health agencies. The World Health Organization has listed vaccine hesitation as one of the top 10 global health threats last year.

In South Korea, in a poll earlier this month, 62% of the 2,548 respondents in Gyeonggi Province near Seoul prevented COVID-19 until they fully answered all safety questions, even if the vaccine was approved. I found out that I would not be vaccinated.

Report by SangmiCha; edited by Kim Miyoung and Jane Wardel

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