SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA—Several parents associations in South Korea held protests on Thursday against a vaccine pass mandate for children.
From February, those aged 12 or older will have to show a vaccine pass to enter public spaces, including private tuition centers, libraries, and study cafes. The exemption age is currently 17 years.
The mandate, however, has sparked uproar among some parents who refuse to vaccinate their children, citing potential side effects and reports of vaccine breakthrough infections.
At least 70 members of parents associations gathered in front of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency building in Cheongju city on Thursday, holding up signs that read “Vaccine Dictatorship”.
A poll conducted this week by another activist group showed 93 percent of the more than 18,000 parents who responded were against the idea of enforcing the vaccine pass mandate on students.
South Korea has fully vaccinated nearly 92 percent of its adults, while 11 percent have received a booster shot. But inoculation rate for the 12–17 age group remains at 34 percent.
The country has said it will recognize overseas vaccinations of foreigners who have entered the country with no quarantine exemption and that they will be eligible to receive a booster shot and a vaccine pass, effective Dec 9.
Previously, South Korea recognized overseas vaccinations for only its citizens and foreigners who entered the country under a quarantine exemption.