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S. Korea gets Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for 58,500 people

S. Korea gets Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for 58,500 people

Posted February. 27, 2021 07:30,   

Updated February. 27, 2021 07:30


Pfizer’s vaccine, which will be administered to healthcare workers at Covid-19 treatment hospitals, arrived via a flight on Friday. The advisory panel for the Food and Drug Safety Ministry issued an opinion that the Pfizer vaccine can be also used in teenagers aged 16 and older.

According to the quarantine authority on Friday, a Korean Air freight flight carrying the vaccine that had departed the Netherlands arrived at Incheon International Airport at 11:58 a.m. on the day. The shipment that has arrived this time is a volume of vaccine for 58,500 people as the first batch of vaccines that has been secured through the “COVAX Facility,” an international vaccine sharing program. The Pfizer vaccine should be kept at ultralow temperatures of minus 70 degrees or lower during transportation and storage until right before administering, and the vaccine has been delivered in containers equipped with air conditioners.

The vaccine delivered on the day was immediately moved to five vaccine transport vehicles. The vaccine was delivered to the National Medical Center, Yangsan Busan National University Hospital, Chosun University Hospital in Gwangju, and Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center in Daegu, and Soon Chun Hyang University Cheonan Hospital. Vaccination with the vaccine will begin on Saturday starting from Seoul.

The central review committee on new drugs, a legal advisory panel for the Food and Drug Safety Ministry, said on the day the Pfizer vaccine can be approved for use. As for the question of whether the vaccine can be used in teenagers, the panel said, “Since the immune response of teenagers aged 16 and older are not different from adults, clinical trial data from adults can be used for them.” As high school students can now use the vaccine, they will likely be included in the health authority’s vaccination plans.

Sung-Gyu Kim sunggyu@donga.com