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Asia Minute: Slow Progress With Regional Vaccine Campaigns

AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool

Vaccinations started slowly in the Asia Pacific, but in some places, the pace is picking up.

South Korea’s government said three-quarters of its population should be vaccinated against COVID-19 within the next three months.

The country got a slow start with its February launch of vaccinations, but the pace has picked up in recent weeks.

The Reuters coronavirus tracker project estimates about 18% of the population has been fully vaccinated.

The head of the country’s Disease Control and Prevention Agency told the Financial Times another 10 million doses of vaccine will arrive next month.

Indonesia’s president wants 70% of Jakarta’s population to be vaccinated by August.

Joko Widodo said that will require 100,000 residents to get vaccinated every day.

The city’s starting the campaign this week—although there are questions not only about the pace of the shots, but also the supply.

Supply issues are slowly improving in Thailand—where the government has also laid out some ambitious targets for its capital city.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the government will put about 10 million doses of vaccine into arms next month, with most of the supply going to Bangkok.

Last week, the prime minister announced a goal of fully opening the entire country for business—including international tourism—by the middle of October.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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