Reports say at least 13 South Koreans have died after receiving flu shots in recent days, fuelling doubts about the safety of the vaccine as authorities rule out a link as global efforts to find a vaccine for COVID-19 intensify.
Health authorities says there are no plans to suspend the programme to vaccinate approximately 19 million people for free after preliminary investigation into six deaths found no direct connection with the drug they received.
South Korea ordered 20 percent more flu vaccines this year to avoid a twin pandemic of people with flu developing potential COVID-19 complications, and overburdening hospitals during the winter.
The deaths, including a 17-year-old boy and a man in his 70s, took place just a week after the resumption of the vaccination programme for teenagers and senior citizens on October 13.
Officials claim no toxic substances have been found in the vaccines, and at least five of the six people investigated had underlying conditions.