Gyeonggi Province becomes first local Korean autonomy to launch mobile vaccination bus campaign to vaccinate unregistered foreigners against COVID-19

Createdd 2021-10-06 Hit 176

Contents

○ Vaccination bus to operate at small business sites in Ansan City with migrant workers from October 6 to 8

– Gyeonggi Provincial Government secures migrant worker lists and administers vaccinations; unregistered foreigners also eligible to receive vaccinations once identity is verified through proof of employment; vaccination bus capable of administering approximately 100 doses daily
– Campaign incorporates existing Gyeonggi Free Mobile Medical Consultation Program that provides medical services to workers at small business sites who participate in inoculation program
– Provincial government to estimate demand by city and county; will continue program until end of October

The Gyeonggi Provincial Government has become the first local Korean autonomy to launch a mobile COVID-19 vaccination program using a bus. The program is geared for business sites with high concentrations of foreigners.

On October 6, the provincial government dispatched the vaccination bus for the first time to the Gyeonggi Regional Headquarters of the Korea Industrial Complex Corporation located in Danwon-gu, Ansan City.

The vaccination bus, which is also used for the province’s mobile medical consultation service program for migrant workers, is staffed by four personnel including one physician, two nurses, and a driver.

The bus is capable of administering approximately 100 vaccine doses daily. The provincial government plans to first dispatch the vaccination bus to business sites that have secured lists of migrant workers. Unregistered foreigners are also eligible for vaccination if their identity can be verified by proof of employment issued by an employer or by other means. Those eligible will be issued a temporary vaccination management number on site. In addition, family members of migrant workers, international students, and South Korean residents can also benefit from the program.

Regarding vaccine types, people who are 30 years of age or older will receive the Janssen vaccine while those aged 18 to 29 will receive an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) depending on vaccine supplies and personal condition.

The Gyeonggi Provincial Government also plans to connect this program with its free mobile medical consultation program, originally geared for residents living in underserved areas of the province, to provide other services such as health checks and case management to those who participate in the COVID-19 vaccination program.

To this end, the provincial government formed an on-site vaccination team comprised of a vaccine administration team (provincial level), a support team (city/district level), and two buses for vaccine administration and medical examinations. The on-site vaccination team will visit factories and farms that employ migrant workers as well as communities with large migrant worker populations. The vaccination administration team will be responsible for performing preliminary medical examinations, vaccine administration, and monitoring; the city/district support team will be responsible for vaccine management, vaccination record registration, schedule management, interpretation, and volunteer activities.

From October 6 to 8, the vaccine bus program will be piloted in the Ansan City region where there is a high concentration of migrant workers. During the same period, each city and county government in the province will conduct demand surveys and undertake the vaccination bus program by the end of October.

The vaccination bus program was initiated to address the low vaccination rate among the unregistered foreigner population. According to a survey conducted by the Gyeonggi Provincial Government, 74.7% of registered foreigners have received at least one vaccine (out of 502,000 registered foreigners in Gyeonggi Province), which is comparable to the vaccination rate among Koreans (75.0%). However, it is estimated that the vaccination rate among unregistered foreigners is a mere 55.9% (out of approximately 100,000 unregistered foreigners).

The low vaccination rate among unregistered foreigners may be attributable to fear of punishment for illegal sojourn, lack of awareness regarding the importance of vaccination, or aversion to complicated vaccination procedures.

Ryu Yeong-cheol, Director General of the Gyeonggi Provincial Government’s Health Bureau, said, “Intensive management is required due to the ongoing occurrence of COVID-19 infections among foreigners. We ask all employers of migrant workers in Gyeonggi Province to encourage vaccinations. The vaccination bus will visit any business site that has migrant or local employees who need to be vaccinated.”