South Korea mulls vaccination at companies producing chips
The country’s labour ministry had sent letters to major companies such as Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix and LG Electronics to determine the number of doses of COVID-19 vaccine they need.
Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) director Jeong Eun-Kyeong said, “When we set up our vaccination plans for the third quarter, we will review needs for such priorities and consult with relevant ministries.”
The move comes amid a worldwide shortage of chips as the demand for semiconductors has surged far beyond the capacity for supply due to the pandemic, crippling companies producing things ranging from factory machinery to smartphones, with carmakers being affected the worst. Samsung and SK Hynix are the world’s top two memory chip makers.
Vaccination of workers at these chip-producing companies will thus help to reduce the disruption of the supply of chips globally.
The government is also considering vaccination for workers at production units that run non-stop, and for those considered essential to the economy.
South Korea is trying to step up its inoculation programme which has seen a slow start. The country has vaccinated about 10 million people or 19.6% of its 52 million population, and targets to inoculate 70% by the third quarter this year, according to Reuters.