South Korea signs COVID-19 vaccines deals with J&J and Pfizer for 16 million people
The South Korean prime minister, Chung Sye-Kyun has revealed that the country has signed COVID-19 vaccines deals with Pfizer Inc and Johnson & Johnson's Janssen. This is to help the country be in a better state to withstand the expected third wave of the pandemic.
Easing the Pandemic unrest
The general public apprehension has consistently grown with an additional exponential fear spike because of the incoming third wave. This has led to the citizen's mounting tension on the government as regards the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines. The continual daily really of cases in December 2020 has only added intensity to a raging fire.
This unrest has spurred the government to approach Pfizer and J&J for their developed vaccines. The Pfizer and Janssen deals are part of the government plan to buy enough doses from four drugmakers and the global COVAX, which are backed by WHO. It is expected that this will cover the immunization of a minimum of 85% of the entire South Koren population of 52 million.
The mobilization of the Vaccines
Prime Minister Chung in a televised briefing said that the entire nation's capacity is being mobilized to bring in the shipments within the second quarter. But that the Pfizer two does vaccine developed in a German partner BioNTech will be enough for over 10 million people and is expected in the third quarter of 2021. The doses from Janssen's pharmaceutical divisions on the other hand are added to the initial amount of 4-6 million people which will be ready for inoculation from the second quarter.
The government has also signed an agreement with AstraZenecca Plc that is to be shipped in January next year. Also, talks are ongoing with Moderns Inc to enter a contract in January for 20 million doses. The government has allocated an additional $1.2 billion to the 2021 budget for vaccines. According to Yong Dong-gyo, a senior official at the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), health authorities will start the public vaccination program in February 2021 and it is expected to end in November of the same year.