Korea reported four deaths from Covid-19 among children aged younger than 10 in July alone, government data showed.
The total number of child deaths from Covid-19 has gone up to 27, as of midnight Sunday.
According to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), two children aged nine or younger died from Covid-19 in Gyeonggi Province, one in Sejong, and the other in Gwangju, in July.
All four children had no underlying diseases and their conditions worsened acutely one or two days after the Covid-19 diagnosis. The four children were unvaccinated.
On Monday, Jung Ki-suck, head of the Covid-19 Response Headquarters, an advisory group consisting of 21 experts in the private sector launched in June, called on the government to carry out an in-depth analysis of the child death cases and thoroughly check the children’s immunization system.
“The analysis on the recent outbreak situation showed that there are increasing cases of re-infections and deaths among children,” Jung said in a briefing on Friday.
“The government should add in-depth analysis of the cases to establish a data-based quarantine policy,” he said.
He said he noticed a particular increase in pediatric Covid-19 patients after the spread of the Omicron variant.
“The government should prepare thoroughly so that children hoping to get vaccinated can receive inoculation safety and swiftly,” he said.
In Korea, children aged between five and 11 can receive two doses of Pfizer's Coid-19 vaccine.
However, many parents are reluctant to get their children vaccinated due to fears of adverse reactions.
Seemingly mindful of strong backlash from some parents who oppose Covid-19 vaccination in children, Jung emphasized that he was not trying to get children vaccinated forcefully.
“I’m just pointing out that the government needs to update the latest safety information to guardians and children,” he said.
Meanwhile, the health authorities on Monday started administering AstraZeneca’s Evusheld, an antibody injection, to better protect people with weak immune systems from Covid-19.
Those eligible for Evusheld are people aged 12 or older who weigh at least 40 kilograms.
The nation reported 55,292 new Covid-19 cases– 54,810 local cases and 482 imported cases – as of midnight Sunday. The death toll rose by 27 to 25,292.
Despite a slight abatement in the number of daily cases, the number of critically ill patients went up by 27 to 324, the highest number in 83 days since May 17 with 333.