SEOUL, April 7 (Korea Bizwire) — Some 400,000 undocumented foreigners in South Korea will also receive coronavirus vaccines.
The vaccination committee under the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said Tuesday that undocumented foreigners will receive coronavirus vaccines, based upon the same procedures for Korean nationals and registered foreigners.
The government had previously announced its intent to decide upon the issue of vaccination of undocumented foreigners after considering the impact on public health, and immigrant rights organizations and those in academia responded by calling for a comprehensive, detailed plan that will ensure all immigrants receive vaccination.
Undocumented foreigners are difficult to track, and their health status is often unknown, making them one of the most vulnerable groups in the pandemic era.
“Those eligible will be able to receive vaccination when we begin inoculations first for the general population over 65 years of age in the first week of this month,” the committee said.
Undocumented foreigners will not be subject to law enforcement or deportation during vaccinations.
“Similarly to our COVID-19 testing procedures, undocumented workers will not be questioned nor reported to authorities,” an official at the Ministry of Justice said.
The Korea Immigration Service reported that there were 2,011,259 foreigners in the country as of February, 20 percent of whom (391,858 people) were undocumented.
H. M. Kang (firstname.lastname@example.org)