South Korea is inching closer to securing additional supplies of COVID-19 vaccines.
On Friday, the government shared its procurement process and reiterated its plans to have 44 million people vaccinated.

“We have already signed a purchase deal with AstraZeneca, and we will complete the contract with Janssen as early as next week. Pfizer is currently under review.”

Doses from AstraZeneca are to start being rolled out in the first quarter of next year.
SK Bioscience will produce the vaccines for AstraZeneca in Korea and the country will use these for the shots.
The timeframe for receiving vaccines from other companies is yet to be revealed as non-disclosure agreements with the drugmakers prohibit the government from sharing details of the negotiation process.
Enough vaccines for 10 million people from the COVAX Facility are expected to arrive early next year as well plans will be clearer when representatives from the government and the COVAX Facility speak next week to finalize the plans.
All in all, the government said that the goal is to achieve mass immunization, about 70 to 80 percent of the population inoculated, before the next flu season which is normally November.

“We’re in negotiations with drugmakers other than the ones we’ve mentioned, we’re also trying to get the doses sooner.”

As for the domestically developed COVID-19 vaccines, the government revealed that SK Bioscience requested first and second clinical trials last October.
According to the current plans, the trials should be completed by the end of next year.
Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News.

Reporter : tkim@arirang.com

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