A teacher at an international school gets her COVID-19 shot at a clinic in Guro, southern Seoul, on Thursday. (Yonhap)
Seoul officials said clinics in Gangnam, Seocho and Yangcheon districts were specifically instructed Wednesday afternoon to allow eligible people COVID-19 vaccinations without an appointment, after several were turned away this week against city guidance.
The instructions allow people with priority eligibility, such as teachers and deliver workers, who could not obtain an appointment to get vaccinated without a reservation until the end of this month.
Wednesday’s direction to vaccination clinics at the three districts came after The Korea Herald’s inquiries that some people were still being turned away despite in a change in policy that enabled priority groups that were not given an appointment to receive vaccinations.
According to the city, there are some 14,000 people that remain unscheduled for their priority vaccination. Many of them are foreign teachers at “hagwon,” or private cram schools.
“Since a lot of people eligible under the priority plan could not schedule their vaccination due to the system’s errors, the city decided to let them get a vaccine at the clinics on a walk-in basis,” the official said. He said all vaccination clinics across Seoul had been informed of this decision Saturday.
On the map pages, click on the three horizontal stripes in the top left corner (A) which will bring you to the page on the left. After choosing the “Vaccine Clincs” icon in the middle (B), click on the “View Map” button located on the bottom of the screen. When the map comes up, center, look for the icon on the top right corner (C) to switch the map’s language. The screenshot on the right is a view of the language options available. Click (D) to access the English version. (The Korea Herald)
“At the clinics, people must be able to present a proof of identity such as the alien registration card, and the names they provide onsite should also exactly match the names that are in the official database.”
In light of the confusion, he said the city has extended the designated vaccination period by a week until July 31.
He said the list of people eligible for Seoul’s priority vaccination -- compiled by the city’s education and employment offices -- has been sent to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, which then distributed it to the vaccination clinics.
“We recognize that it may not have been communicated well to the staff working directly with vaccine recipients, or prospective vaccine recipients,” he said.
“There’s been a lot of chaos. Over the days, the city office has gotten visits from people asking why they haven’t gotten a date yet. In some cases, the names that were submitted were abridged or misspelled, and the phone numbers were nonexistent or unreachable.”
Seoul is giving priority vaccinations to “essential” or at-risk groups, including hagwon teachers, transportation and delivery workers, with 400,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine that it was allotted earlier this month by the KDCA. The national program overseen by the KDCA is largely age-based and still rolling out first doses to people in their 60s and early 70s.
The locations of some 30 clinics for Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations in the city can be viewed on a virtual map at map.seoul.go.kr/smgis2/short/6Naup
By Kim Arin (firstname.lastname@example.org