Seoul : South Korea has signed a contract with AstraZeneca PLC to purchase coronavirus vaccine candidates, local media reported on Thursday (December 3).
The government said it was in final negotiations for an experimental vaccine with global pharmaceutical companies including AstraZeneca, Pfizer Inc, Johnson & Johnson, and began a preliminary review of AstraZeneca products in October for potential rapid approval.
The JoongAng Ilbo newspaper revealed that the health authorities signed a contract with a UK-based company on November 27th, citing unidentified government officials, and that they are signing contracts with Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.
An official said, “The deal with AstraZeneca was concluded and a memorandum of understanding was signed with Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. However, additional negotiations are needed to determine the quantity supplied and the timing of shipment.”
The Yonhap news agency also cited an anonymous health official and reported that a contract was recently signed with Astra Zeneca, which the government will announce as soon as possible next week after completing negotiations with other companies.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KDCA) said the central report would close the talks and release the comprehensive results sooner or later, rather than the government’s official position.
KDCA said it had allocated 172 billion won ($157 million) to purchase the initial 60 million doses this year, enough to inoculate about 60 percent of the nation’s 52 million people around the second quarter of 2021. 20 million doses through the COVAX facility, an international COVID-19 vaccine allocation platform co-led by WHO. (1 dollar = 1,097.0800 won)