Gov’t secures vaccines for 44M people next year
Dec. 13, 2020
Global Korean Post
By Lee Hana and Lee Jihae
The government on Dec. 8 said it secured COVID-19 vaccines for 44 million people through a global vaccine project and four foreign pharmaceutical companies.
In a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun at Government Complex-Seoul, the government reviewed and decided on a plan to secure vaccines developed abroad.
Vaccines for ten million people will come from the international project COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access, also known as the COVAX Facility, and four global vaccine corporations will provide those for 34 million people.
The vaccines for 34 million people will be preordered from AstraZeneca of the U.K. and Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen and Moderna of the U.S.
A combined 64 million doses will be preordered for the 34 million people, as a person could require one or two injections depending on the vaccine.
Twenty million doses will come from AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer each and four million from Janssen.
|Vaccine type||Virus transporter||mRNA||Virus transporter||mRNA|
|No. of preordered doses||20 million||20 million||4 million||20 million|
|No. of inoculations||2||2||1||2|
*The results can differ depending on ongoing clinical trials.
The government inked a preorder deal with AstraZeneca and binding purchase agreements with the other three companies to secure the supply. Seoul will swiftly implement the remaining procedures of the deals.
The vaccines will be given in phases from next year’s first quarter, specifically in February and March. The government will also closely monitor the development of vaccines that come out later and secure additional vaccines as needed.
Difficulty is expected in the process of preparing the vaccines, such as meeting the requirements for its preservation like Pfizer’s being kept at temperatures of minus 80C to minus 60C, having a short expiration date and requiring two doses.
Also under evaluation is the prioritization for inoculation of 36 million people deemed most vulnerable to COVID-19 such as the elderly, those living in group facilities and sufferers of chronic diseases as well as health personnel such as those in essential social services. The government will review with related departments so that these people can get free vaccinations in principle.
Minister of Health and Welfare Park Neunghoo said, “The vaccines are still in the predevelopment stage and thus uncertainty over success in the course of vaccination remains such as the potential for side effects. For the sake of public health and peace of mind, the government decided to preorder more vaccines than for the original target of 30 million people.”
“Because domestic treatments now in the development stage could be commercialized as fast as early next year, we expect to form a stronger system of responding to COVID-19 comprising ‘prevention (vaccine), swift detection and diagnosis, and early treatment.'”