South Korea is ramping up its vaccination campaign nationwide by setting up the designated COVID-19 vaccination centers. The first one is at Seongdong-gu district office just a five or ten-minute walk from Wangsimni subway station. There’s a plenty of parking downstairs, and because the center has more space than local health clinics, they’re hoping to serve as many people as possible.
“Transport-wise, our district office is well situated right in the center of Seoul. It’s easy to get here. We also picked this place because it’s big, and because we have a spacious auditorium.”
The process here is easy to follow. You get off the elevator, which is only for people getting the vaccine, then get your temperature checked and take a number. And either using your phone or writing by hand, you fill out the health questionnaire.
When you’re done, you register at the front and wait to hear your name called out. The last stop before getting the vaccine is a quick examination, answering questions from a doctor about any underlying conditions. And finally, in one of twelve rooms, visitors roll up their sleeves and get the injection from a nurse. Afterwards, you get a certificate showing that you got your first dose, and then wait 15 or 30 minutes to make sure everything’s okay.
“This place used to be a public library, but it’s now been turned into a place to monitor any side-effects from the vaccine.”
“How can I help you?”
“If you have any symptoms, you can press this button to get medical help right away.”
If anyone does have severe side effects, like anaphylactic shock, an emergency response team is ready to take the person right away to the nearest hospital. The vaccine doses from Moderna and Pfizer, which need to be stored at extremely low temperatures, are held in utlra-cold chain storage behind the vaccination site. Nine more vaccination centers will open in Seoul starting early next month and eventually there’ll be a total of 29 centers throughout the city.
Choi Won-jong, Arirang News.