South Korean health authorities said on Tuesday that it will take time before deciding on whether to include those aged five to eleven among recipients of COVID-19 vaccination.
Hong Jeong-ik, a senior official of the state task force on vaccination, relayed the stance in a briefing, stressing the need of sufficient research to conclude the safety and efficacy of vaccinating young children, including consultations with experts and parents.
He said the government will also monitor vaccination efforts overseas and domestic efforts needed to authorize vaccines for those in the targeted age group, adding the decision will unlikely be made before the year-end.
South Korea expanded the COVID-19 vaccination program to include those aged 12 to 17 in October after more than 90 percent of all adults in the nation received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The inoculation program for teens is optional but the government began to more actively encourage them to receive their shots amid a recent resurgence in new COVID-19 cases.