December 30, 2020 10:01
Korea has secured more doses of coronavirus vaccines from U.S. biotech giant Moderna that will be available here from the second quarter of 2021.
The government had originally negotiated only enough doses for 10 million people with Moderna. But after an outcry here over the government's failure to secure timely supplies, President Moon Jae-in spoke by video call for half an hour on Tuesday night with Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel and secured enough for another 10 million people.
Cheong Wa Dae spokeswoman Kang Min-seok said Bancel told Moon that he will do his best to send the vaccines quickly and that the contract could be signed before the end of this year.
The unit price has gone down now the volume has doubled, and the supply date was pushed forward from the third quarter to the second quarter next year.
So far the government had secured vaccines for 36 million people, including AstraZeneca vaccines for 10 million people, Pfizer vaccines for 10 million people, Janssen vaccines for 6 million people and enough for another 10 million people through the COVAX Facility, a global risk-sharing mechanism aimed at securing vaccines for equitable distribution.
With the latest deal with Moderna, the country has now secured enough vaccines for 56 million people, which is more than the country's population of 52 million.
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