The South Korean government and U.S. vaccine developer Novavax are reportedly about to sign a deal for COVID-19 vaccines. “The South Korean government has been working to secure vaccines based on other platforms, and much progress has been made,” said Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun on Tuesday at a meeting with the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters. This means the procurement of vaccines that use different approaches from the ones the government already has access to.
Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use “mRNA,” while AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines use vector vaccines. Novavax vaccines, which the South Korean government hopes to secure, are based on protein, which is a traditional way of producing vaccines. “A deal will be made next week at the earliest, but no later than by the end of the month,” said a source from the government.
It is said the South Korean government is finalizing the deal in order for the vaccines to start to be delivered in the second quarter of the year. If signed, the deal would bring the total number of available vaccines to 126 million doses for South Korea.
Novavax vaccines have a long shelf life, can be refrigerated and has few side effects. Most importantly, a stable supply is expected with SK Bioscience producing Novavax vaccines on consignment. “We are working to secure further doses,” said a source from the government. “The goal is to procure up to 180 million doses.”
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