Covid vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson’s Jassen pharmaceuticals inched closer to becoming the third covid vaccine to be authorized in South Korea today after an independent panel of experts advised it’s “safe and effective”.
This, as fresh concerns rise over vaccine supply in many parts of the world, including South Korea.
Let’s talk about it. I have live in the studio with me, Dr. Alice Tan, Internist at Mizmedi Women’s Hospital.
Dr. Tan, great to have you with us, as always.

I want to first ask you your thoughts on the first review of Janssen’s Covid vaccine by the nation’s independent panel of experts. How does it compare with your own assessment of the single-dose vaccine?

Two more committee meetings will be held before a final approval of Jassen’s vaccine. Can we soon expect emergency use authorization by the drug ministry?

South Korea plans to complete the first round of vaccinations for 12 million people by June. Do you think the approval of Janssen’s vaccine will speed up the country’s vaccination process?

We are witnessing rising tensions over vaccine supply as India and the EU begin to limit their AZ exports.
America’s Novavax has postponed signing a contract with the EU due to shortfalls in raw materials needed to produce its vaccine. How is South Korea doing with vaccine supply? Dr. Jeong Eun-kyeong did acknowledge the global shortage in vaccine supply today. Any concerns that we may face supply shortage or delay down the road?

Back to Janssen’s single-dose vaccine, what’s the technology behind this adenovirus-based vaccine which, in that respect, appears to be similar to that of AstraZeneca’s?

Meanwhile, the South Korean government announced over the weekend that it’s now recommending employers to provide ‘Vaccine Sick Days’ of up to two days to their employees. It’s not mandatory and not offered to everyone, but only to those who apply for it. ‘Vaccine Sick Day,’ what are your thoughts on its necessity and effectiveness?
(Other countries?)

We’re also learning of a new study that Pfizer and Moderna’s coronavirus vaccines are safe for pregnant women and breastfeeding moms, trigger a strong immune response and antibodies from the shots are even passed to their babies. Is this good news?

Israel, the UK and Chile are among the top five countries with the highest vaccination rate per capita in the world.
Israel, apparently, may soon relax its strict outdoor mask mandate as early as April, but not all countries with a high vaccination rate are enjoying such vaccine effects. Do you think Covid vaccines are proving to be effective in bringing down infection rate in general?

Korea has found 40 more cases of new variants as of today, bringing the total to 289. How much of a threat are new variants to South Korea?

Dr. Tan, thank you as always for your insights.

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