SEOUL, June 10 (Reuters) - South Korea is considering plans
to vaccinate workers at key businesses including chip and
electronics firms to minimize disruptions to production, the
government said on Thursday, amid global efforts to boost supply
of scarce computer chips.
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 Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) and
labor ministry said they were discussing options with other
government agencies but no specifics had been decided.
"When we set up our vaccination plans for the third quarter,
we will review needs for such priorities and consult with
relevant ministries," KDCA director Jeong Eun-Kyeong told a
briefing, when asked about vaccinating those who work in the key
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 also said it planned to accelerate talks with
other countries on opening travel bubbles.
Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said South Korea wanted to
re-open travel with countries including Singapore, Taiwan,
Thailand and Guam, allowing people to visit without needing to
"Resuming international travel will mark the beginning of
life going back to normal," he said during a government meeting.
South Korea's transport and culture ministries said they
would only allow group tours for those who are fully vaccinated
during the initial phase of any travel bubble.
South Korea has inoculated about 10 million people, or 19.6%
of its 52 million people, and plans to vaccinate 70% by the
The country reported 611 new coronavirus cases on Thursday,
bringing the total to 146,303 infections, with 1,979 deaths.
(Reporting by Heekyong Yang and Hyonhee Shin; Editing by
Stephen Coates and Peter Graff)