South Korea considers vaccinating workers at major companies

South Korea considers vaccinating workers at major companies

A health worker gets a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at a COVI
A health worker gets a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Seoul, South Korea on March 10, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji)

SEOUL: South Korea is considering plans to vaccinate workers at key businesses including chip and electronics firms to prevent disruptions to production, an official at the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.

The labour ministry has sent letters to companies including Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix and LG Electronics seeking information on their COVID-19 vaccination needs, the Maeil Business Newspaper reported on Wednesday (Jun 9), citing government and industry sources.

The KDCA and labour ministry said they were discussing such options with government agencies but no specifics had been decided.

Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix and LG Electronics said they had received the letter.

The move comes amid a global chip shortage that has affected manufacturers around the world, particularly carmakers. Samsung and SK Hynix are the world's top two memory chip makers.

The South Korean government is trying to ramp up its inoculation drive after a slow start.

One plan under consideration is to provide vaccines for workers at units that run non-stop, and for those deemed essential to the economy.

The government plans to vaccinate 70 per cent of its 52 million population by the third quarter, starting with kindergarten and primary school teachers, with the aim of achieving herd immunity before November.

South Korea reported 611 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing the total tally to 146,303 infections, with 1,979 deaths.

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Source: Reuters

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