The first batch of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine manufactured at Samsung Biologics’Songdo plant is ready for domestic supply. Samsung Biologics was commissioned to fill and package Moderna vaccines manufactured by global pharmaceutical company Lonza.
The government’s vaccine task force team announced on Tuesday that the Moderna vaccine doses of 2.435 million, which Samsung Biologics fill-finished manufacturing for, will be ready for supply this week. This volume is part of the 40 million doses, which the government signed with Moderna to supply by the end of the year. The current batch will be used for new vaccinations in the fourth quarter of the year, secondary vaccinations and booster shots for high-risk groups. As of Tuesday, 23.12 million doses of the Moderna vaccine have been supplied to Korea. “The recent production has helped us gain a more stable foundation for vaccine supply, as we anticipate prolonged pandemic conditions,” said Vice Health Minister Ryu Geun-hyeok.
Discussions are underway on whether upcoming Samsung Biologics’ manufactured volume will be allocated to domestic supply. “We have aligned with Moderna on domestic supply of initial volume, but we need to discuss on where future supplies will be used,” said Jeong Eun-young, chief of the Vaccine Supply Bureau at the Central Disaster Management Headquarters.
Industry experts say that Samsung Biologics’ manufacturing of Moderna vaccines came four months earlier than anticipated. “Thanks to close public-private cooperation in vaccine approval and supply, we were able to expedite the process faster than ever before,” according to an industry source.
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