Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae speaks during a press briefing held at the Sejong Government Complex on Tuesday. (Yonhap)
The Ministry of Education will support medical costs for students who experience adverse events from being vaccinated or are experiencing mental health issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As many students and parents are worried about children and youths experiencing adverse events from vaccination, we have came up with measures that can relieve the concerns,” Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae said at a press briefing held at the Sejong Government Complex on Tuesday.
The ministry will support medical costs of up to 5 million won ($4,200) for students who experience serious abnormal reactions within 90 days of being administered a COVID-19 vaccine but were not compensated by the government for lack of causality.
For students of families with an income below 50 percent of the median income, the ministry will cover up to 10 million won.
Individuals will have to file for compensation through the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency first if they experience adverse events after vaccination. If the government notifies them that they do not qualify for a compensation program led by the disease control authorities, they can file for medical cost coverage to the Korea Educational Environments Protection Agency.
The ministry has secured a budget of 4 billion won for the plan, set to run from February to May 2023. It expects to help some 700 to 800 students.
Aware that there are students experiencing mental health issues amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the ministry will also support mentally unstable students who tried to kill or maim themselves by covering their hospital costs for physical and mental treatment with up to 3 million won each. Students or their parents or guardians can file for support through their respective schools.
As of Tuesday, 78.8 percent of those aged 13 to 18 have received a second shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 67.8 percent have been administered the first shot.
Some 0.27 percent of them, 10,915 cases, have reported adverse events after vaccination. Some 284 cases reported serious adverse events.
By Im Eun-byel (firstname.lastname@example.org