South Korea approves Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

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South Korea today approved the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, attempts to speed up its inoculation efforts, drug safety minister Kim Gang-lip told a news conference.

The green light comes after two of three expert panels recommended approval be granted for the two-dose vaccine based on safety and efficacy in late-stage trials in the United States.

Moderna is the fourth COVID-19 vaccine to be approved in South Korea, following doses developed by AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.

Moderna manufaturer has a deal with South Korea to supply 40 million doses of its vaccine, although the shipment timeline is yet to be announced.

Seoul has ordered up to 192 million doses of Corona virus vaccines, including those made by AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Novavax  and Johnson & Johnson.

South Korea’s vaccination campaign has been hampered by global shortages and shipment delays.

It has provided doses to just over seven per cent of its 52 million residents so far, as it aims to inoculate at least 13 million by June and reach herd immunity by November.

The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency reported 561 new confirmed cases of the Corona virus yesterday, bringing the total tally to 1,34,678 infections with 1,922 deaths.