|A teenager gets a flu vaccine at a hospital in Songpa-gu, Seoul, Oct. 13. Korea Times file|
Public anxiety is growing over the safety of flu vaccines in South Korea as three people have died after receiving flu shots.
On Tuesday, a 78-year-old woman was found dead at her home in Gochang, about 300 kilometers south of Seoul, after receiving a flu shot a day earlier, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA).
On the same day, an 82-year-old man was found dead at his house in the central city of Daejeon after getting the shot earlier in the day.
The public health agency also said a 17-year-old boy in Incheon, just west of Seoul, died on Friday after receiving the shot two days earlier.
The KDCA said no connection has been established between the three people's deaths and their flu vaccinations and a related investigation is under way.
The deaths have stoked public anxiety over the safety of the vaccines and made some people reluctant to get vaccinated.
The public health agency said the teenage boy was administered with one of the vaccines shipped by Shinsung Pharm Co., a distributor of vaccine bottles that were exposed to room temperature during shipments as part of a nationwide free flu shots program.
The authorities earlier said the mishandled vaccines have passed quality tests and concluded that there is no safety issue. They have collected some 539,000 doses that were shipped by Shinsung Pharm.
The KDCA said a total of 32 people have received the vaccine shots from the same hospital as the teenage boy, yet no abnormal reactions have been reported. (Yonhap)