October 23. According to Korean media reports, in recent days, people in South Korea have died after being vaccinated with influenza, causing concern. As of midnight on the 22nd local time, 32 people had died after receiving the flu vaccine. Prime Minister Ding Shijun called on the 23rd to conduct a thorough investigation of related deaths.
According to reports, at a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters, Ding Shijun expressed deep condolences to the families of the deceased. He said: “The authorities should thoroughly investigate the causal relationship between (flu) vaccination and death, and transparently announce the progress of the situation.”
Ding Shijun pointed out that although experts have denied the connection between flu shots and deaths, the public is still nervous. He added: “I call on the Korean Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) to fully consult with experts and do everything possible to take adequate measures to quickly explain (to the public) so that people can get vaccinated without anxiety.”
Since October 16, a 17-year-old teenager in Incheon City died after being vaccinated with influenza, and similar cases in South Korea have continued to increase. As of midnight on October 22, local time, 32 people in South Korea had died after being vaccinated with influenza. Korean media pointed out on the 22nd that among the relevant deaths, from the perspective of age, people over 60 accounted for about 88%. From a regional perspective, Gyeongsangbuk-do has the most.
On the 22nd, the South Korean health department stated that no deaths were found to be directly related to the vaccine, and that it would continue to promote the free influenza vaccination program. On the 23rd local time, the Department of Disease Management plans to convene a “Vaccination Victims Investigation Team Meeting” and a “Vaccination Special Committee” to check the status of vaccination and seek countermeasures.
According to previous media reports, South Korea will expand its influenza vaccination program in 2020 and intend to provide free vaccinations to approximately 19 million teenagers and elderly people. When the plan was launched at the end of September, it was discovered that during the delivery of about 5 million doses of free vaccines, the entire process of refrigeration failed to comply with the specifications, so it was suspended for three weeks and restarted on October 13. So far, 8.3 million people have been vaccinated, and a total of 350 people have reported adverse reactions.
The influenza vaccine used in the Korean free vaccination program is supplied by five pharmaceutical companies, namely the local GC Pharmaceutical Company, SK Biotech, Yiyang Pharmaceutical Company, France’s Sanofi Group, and British GlaxoSmithKline. Distributors include South Korea’s LG Chemical Company and Boryeong Pharmaceutical Company.