A medical staff prepares Pfizer vaccine for injection. (Yonhap)
Two nurses working at a hospital in Seoul have tested positive for the new coronavirus after receiving their first doses of Pfizer vaccine shots last week, officials said Sunday.
Chung Ki-hyun, head of the National Medical Center where the nurses work, said the test results are not related to the vaccine administeration as it takes at least two weeks for antibodies to be formed after vaccination.
The first nurse working at a ward for mild COVID-19 patients tested positive Saturday after experiencing fever the previous day.
The nurse received the first vaccine jab on Feb. 28.
The center tested some 40 others who work at the ward and found that another nurse was infected with the virus. The second nurse had the vaccine shot on the same day as the first nurse.
"Even in the process of receiving the vaccine shots, we can't help but contract COVID-19 when exposed to it," Chung said.
The medical center has quarantined those who were tested and shut down the ward after transferring patients there.
South Korea has administered vaccinations to a total of 314,656 people since launching a mass vaccination campaign last week.
AstraZeneca's vaccine accounted for 309,387, while Pfizer's took up 5,269. The country aims to achieve herd immunity by November. (Yonhap)