Seoul, Jan. 27, 2021 – South Korea’s Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said on Wednesday that his country had secured enough Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine doses and was planning to eventually switch to the use of domestic vaccines.
Chung added that if the development of the vaccine by his country was delayed, Seoul was ready to purchase other foreign-made vaccines, including Russia’s Sputnik V.
“As I said, South Korean companies are also trying to develop their own vaccine.
“We are planning to use drugs (against COVID-19) manufactured in Korea and use imported vaccines.
“When the South Korean vaccines are created, we will switch to using them.
“Therefore, we consider imported vaccines as interim measure.
“If everything goes according to the planned scenario, we will not need additional vaccines,” Chung said at a policy briefing with international reporters, answering a Sputnik correspondent’s question.
The prime minister noted that South Korea would consider procurement of foreign vaccines in case the development of the domestic ones would not be completed on time.
“Over time, the efficacy and other parameters of vaccines will become clear.
“And if they meet a number of conditions, and their efficacy and safety are confirmed, it will be quite natural to show interest in them,” Chung said when asked about the possibility of getting the Gamaleya-AstraZeneca combined vaccine.
Russia’s Gamaleya Center, along with the UK’s AstraZeneca, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, and pharmaceutical company R-Pharm jointly signed a memorandum of cooperation on Dec. 21.
The document envisages cooperation in the development and implementation of a clinical research programme to evaluate the combined use of one of the components of the Sputnik V vaccine and one of the components of the AZD1222 vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca in cooperation with the University of Oxford.
South Korea is set to begin the vaccine rollout in February, hoping to achieve herd immunity by November.
Along with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and those provided via the World Health Organisation’s COVAX Facility, the country will also receive vaccines from Johnson & Johnson, Janssen, Moderna, and AstraZeneca/Oxford.