|The AZ vaccine (cdnimage.ebn.co.kr)|
The AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine is a weakened version of a common cold virus from chimpanzees. It was developed by Oxford University and was first approved for use on December 30th of 2020 by the UK’s vaccination programme. It has been used to vaccinate over 500,000 people within 13 days in South Korea. The AZ vaccine is currently the only vaccine for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Korea and was first conducted on the 26th of February. When it was first conducted, people over the age of 65 were not allowed to be vaccinated because there were not many clinical reports on how it would affect people of this age group. However, on March 11th, the government announced that people over 65 would also be eligible to be vaccinated. After the announcement, people have raised confusion and worry since there have been many cases of side effects, such as headaches and fever after being vaccinated. To this concern, Professor Kim Woo-joo, from the Department of Infectious Diseases at Korea University Guro Hospital explained, “That is how antibiotics work, and having strong symptoms helps build up the immune system.” However, with the recent news of European countries halting the AZ vaccine’s usage due to its side effects, concern continues to grow.
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