Spike in South Korea flu shot deaths fuels vaccine doubts – Al Jazeera English

” Were looking into the causes but will once again completely examine the whole process in which various government agencies are included, from production to distribution,” he added.

South Korea is offering the seasonal flu vaccine to millions to ward off any issues with COVID-19.

Manufacturers consist of regional drug makers GC Pharma, SK Bioscience and Il-Yang Pharmaceutical Co, along with Frances Sanofi and Britains GlaxoSmithKline. Distributors consist of LG Chem and Boryung Biopharma, a system of Boryung Pharm.

Uneasy.

South Koreas vaccines originate from a variety of sources.

” The variety of deaths has increased, however our team sees low possibility that the deaths resulted from the shots,” Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), told parliament.

No harmful compounds had been found in the vaccines and at least five of the six individuals examined had underlying conditions, officials stated.

South Korea ordered 20 percent more flu vaccines this year to prevent what it calls a “twindemic” of individuals with influenza establishing prospective COVID-19 complications, and overburdening health centers during the winter.

The shot program was suspended for 3 weeks after it was found that some five million doses, which need to be refrigerated, had actually been exposed to room temperature while being transferred to a medical facility.

” I understand and regret that individuals are concerned about the vaccine,” Health Minister Park Neung-hoo said on Thursday, while verifying the complimentary programme would continue.

Health authorities said on Wednesday there were no plans to suspend the program to vaccinate roughly 19 million people totally free after an initial examination into 6 deaths found no direct connection with the drug they had actually gotten.

A minimum of 13 South Koreans have actually passed away after receiving flu shots in current days, according to official and local media reports, fuelling doubts about vaccine security even as authorities dismiss a link and as worldwide efforts to discover a vaccine against COVID-19 magnify.

The deaths, consisting of a 17-year-old young boy and a male in his 70s, took place simply a week after the resumption of the vaccination program for teens and seniors on October 13.

It is likewise offering a paid vaccine program which, integrated with the totally free programme, intends to ensure about 30 countless the countrys 52-million population are inoculated. Under the paid programme, the purchaser can choose the vaccine service provider from a larger pool of producers.

GC Pharma, LG Chem, SK Bioscience and Boryung decreased to comment. Il-Yang Pharmaceutical, Sanofi and GSK could not instantly be reached for comment.

” Though simply a couple of individuals died so far, the number is growing which makes me uneasy,” she informed Reuters news firm in Seoul. “So Im getting a shot someplace else and will pay for it.”.

Kim Myung-suk, 65, who is eligible for a complimentary vaccine, was amongst a growing variety of people deciding to pay.

The highest variety of deaths linked to the seasonal influenza vaccination was 6 in 2005, according to the Yonhap news agency. Officials have actually said it is hard to make comparisons to previous years because of the higher numbers of individuals taking the vaccine this year.

South Korea has extended its seasonal vaccine program this year to prevent any potential problems as a result of COVID-19 issues.

The country has reported more than 25,500 cases of the coronavirus, keeping the disease in check through a robust contact-tracing and screening regime and physical-distancing procedures, as the world hurries to establish a reliable vaccine against the illness.

Authorities said 8.3 million people have actually been inoculated with the free flu vaccine given that it resumed on October 13, with about 350 cases of negative reactions reported.