SEOUL — South Korea is considering plans to vaccinate workers at key businesses including chip and electronics firms to prevent disruptions to production, an official at the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said.
The labor ministry has sent letters to companies including Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, SK Hynix Inc and LG Electronics Inc seeking information on their COVID-19 vaccination needs, the Maeil Business Newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing government and industry sources.
The KDCA and labor ministry said they were discussing such options with government agencies but no specifics had been decided.
Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix and LG Electronics said they had received the letter.
The move comes amid a global chip shortage that has affected manufacturers around the world, particularly carmakers. Samsung and SK Hynix are the world’s top two memory chip makers.
The South Korean government is trying to ramp up its inoculation drive after a slow start.
One plan under consideration is to provide vaccines for workers at units that run non-stop, and for those deemed essential to the economy.
The government plans to vaccinate 70% of its 52 million population by the third quarter, starting with kindergarten and primary school teachers, with the aim of achieving herd immunity before November.
South Korea reported 611 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday, bringing the total tally to 146,303 infections, with 1,979 deaths.
(Reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Stephen Coates)