South Korea Reviews AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine, Expands Ban On Gatherings
South Korea is reviewing AstraZeneca's request for approval of its coronavirus vaccine, as it expands a ban on private gatherings of more than four people to the whole country with daily cases topping more than 1,000 in four days.
- Last Updated: January 04, 2021, 12:12 IST
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SEOUL: South Korea is reviewing AstraZeneca’s request for approval of its coronavirus vaccine, as it expands a ban on private gatherings of more than four people to the whole country with daily cases topping more than 1,000 in four days.
The drug safety ministry said will aim to approve the British shot for emergency use in 40 days. The approval would mark the first for the country, which has been grappling with a prolonged surge in infections during the latest wave that has led to a sharp increase in deaths.
South Korea signed a deal with AstraZeneca to secure 20 million doses of its vaccine in December, with the first shipment expected as early as January.
It also has deals with three other drugmakers – Pfizer Inc, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen, Moderna Inc – and the global COVAX initiative, backed by the World Health Organization.
The country has secured enough doses to allow for coverage of 56 million people, more than the 52 million residents of the country.
Authorities plan to start vaccination in February, with health workers and vulnerable people first in line, but the government has been criticised for that schedule in light of vaccinations underway in the United States and European Union.
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