South Korea urges people to get flu vaccinations despite death tolls

Envato

South Korea urged citizens to get vaccinated against influenza and reduce the chances of an outbreak that coincides with the battle on the coronavirus, as it kicked off free inoculations for the last eligible group.

Public anxiety over the safety of flu vaccines has surged after at least 48 people died this month following vaccinations, while, last month, about 5 million doses had to be disposed of after not being stored at recommended temperatures.

Authorities have said they found no direct link between the deaths and the flu shots and have sought to reassure South Koreans about the safety of the vaccines against flu, a disease that kills at least 3,000 each year.

"Vaccination offers far greater benefits compared to side effects, and both the WHO and domestic and overseas experts agree," Health Minister Park Neung-hoo told a briefing on Sunday, in a reference to the World Health Organisation.

Last year, more than 1,500 elderly people died within seven days of receiving flu vaccines, but those deaths were not linked to the vaccinations, the government said.

As South Korea presses on with its inoculations, southeast Asia's tiny city-state of Singapore became one of the first nations this week to call a temporary halt to the use of two influenza vaccines, as a precaution.

Singapore has reported no deaths linked to flu vaccinations.

South Korea ordered 20 per cent more flu vaccines this year to ward off the prospect of what it calls a "twindemic" of concurrent major flu and coronavirus outbreaks in winter.

At least 1,154 instances of adverse reactions have been reported from among more than 9.4 million people inoculated since the effort began in September.

More from International News

  • Oman amongst winners of global Earthshot prize

    Prince William announced five winners of the 2022 Earthshot Prize – entrepreneurs and innovators spearheading ground-breaking solutions to repair and regenerate the planet.

  • No threat of Tsunami after quake hits West Java

    A quake of 6.1 magnitude hit Indonesia's West Java area on Saturday, the country's geophysics agency BMKG said, sending people running out of buildings.

  • Attempt to take Banksy art in Ukraine

    A group of people tried to take a mural by graffiti artist Banksy in Ukraine on Friday by cutting it off a battle-scarred wall where it was painted, the governor of Kyiv region said.

  • G7 agree price cap on Russian oil exports

    Russia said it would continue to find buyers for its oil, despite what it said was a "dangerous" attempt by Western governments to introduce a price cap on its oil exports.

  • Countries spilt on plastics treaty focus

    The first round of negotiations on a global plastics treaty ended on Friday with agreement to end plastic pollution but a split on whether goals and efforts should be global and mandatory, or voluntary and country-led.

On Virgin Radio today

Trending on Virgin Radio

  • ARN News Centre

    Get the latest UAE and world news from our award winning team of journalists. The ARN News Centre is the country's most trusted source of information.

  • Mais Vault on the Kris Fade Show!

    The boys tried their 'pick up' lines on Mais Vault and things did not go according to plan...

  • Middle East Hot 30

    Every weekend Kris Fade plays the biggest tracks in the Middle East. Check out this weeks chart...

  • Ed Sheeran - UAE EXCLUSIVE

    Latest album, what happened with BTS, raising a baby girl, eye surgery, and more!