South Korea to buy more COVID vaccines from Novovax, Pfizer

south korea to buy more covid vaccines

South Korea is looking to buy coronavirus vaccines for 23 million more people. The Prime Minister announced on Tuesday, a day after authorities showed concerns regarding the effectiveness of the vaccines and demanded delay in the vaccination. According to the deal, South Korea will be ordering 20 million doses from Novavax and 3 million doses for its citizens.

"The government has been working to bring in sufficient early supplies, but there is growing uncertainty over our plan for the first half due to production issues with global drugmakers and international competition to adopt more vaccines," the Prime Minister said in a televised meeting.The US-based Novavax also issued a statement, saying that it had a signed a license with South Korean manufacturer SK Bioscience to produce 40 million doses of its vaccines for South Korea locally.

South Korea has a population of 52 million and has already secured enough doses for 56 million people from COVAX, Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, aiming to begin inoculating healthcare workers and the elderly on Feb. 26. The government also reversed its order for the vaccination of elderly citizens.

Earlier, a dosage of AstraZeneca was scheduled for citizens aged 65 and older, but it has been reversed due to insufficient efficacy data.The government has also cut its vaccination targets for the Q1 of 2021 from 1.3 million to less than 760,000 due to delayed shipments from the global vaccine-sharing scheme COVAX.