S. Korea approves acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines for 60 % of entire population

By Lim Chang-won Posted : September 15, 2020, 10:55 Updated : September 15, 2020, 11:28

[Yonhap Photo]

SEOUL -- The South Korean government approved the proposed acquisition of COVID-19 vaccines that can inoculate some 30 million people or 60 percent of the entire population through cooperation with an international body or foreign companies while accelerating the independent development of effective vaccines.

In a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun, the government decided to acquire vaccines for 10 million people through COVAX Facility, an international organization created to guarantee quick and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines throughout the world, as well as vaccines for 20 million people through foreign companies.

"We want to secure enough supplies to inoculate all of the people, but there is still a limit to investing recklessly because the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, as well as the success of vaccine development, is uncertain," Chung said, calling for a "proactive and strategic" approach.

South Korea has sent an application to participate in COVAX Facility. The advance payment for the acquisition of vaccines will be made by October 9. Chung said the government would provide full support for the development of vaccines at home.

South Korea has unveiled a roadmap for the treatment of COVID-19 to develop plasma treatment by the year's end as well as antibody treatment and vaccines next year. The government would preferentially vaccinate health officials, workers at essential social facilities, soldiers, old people and those suffering from chronic disease.

Sugentech, an in-vitro diagnostic test reagent producer in South Korea, started selling its rapid test kit called "IVnAT" that can examine the immune status of people carrying COVID-19 antibodies in two hours. Antibody test kits are useful in confirming the efficacy of vaccines.
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