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S. Korean government in final talks with Novavax for vaccine purchases Updated: 2021-01-13 03:54:52 KST

The South Korean government is at the final stage of negotiations for the purchase of enough doses of the Novavax vaccine for 10 million people.
Once the deal is inked, Novavax vaccines could be available by the second quarter of this year at the earliest.
This vaccine is seen as able to supplement the four other vaccines to be introduced in Korea as it has a long shelf life of 2 to 3 years.
Other vaccines from Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Janssen can only be stored for less than 6 months.
The Novavax deal would give South Korea enough vaccines for 66 million people.
The country's Covid-19 vaccination plan will be announced within this month.
As vaccines will become available at different times, and in limited quantities, individuals will not be able to choose which one they get.
The head of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, Jeong Eun-kyeong announced on Monday that the agency is currently working with local governments and related ministries to figure out who is given priority.
Around 32 million to 36 million are in the current priority groups. These include medical personnel, those who work at group facilities, those older than 50, and the chronically ill.

"Those chronically ill includes patients with cardiovascular, lung, liver, or kidney disease, or cancer, or those that have taken immunosuppressive drugs for a long period."

Children and teenagers have been excluded from the priority candidates for inoculation as some of the vaccines have not been approved for ages under 16 or 18.
But health authorities say COVID-19 doesn't affect juveniles as severely as it affects adults.
The roll-out will start around the end of next month with AstraZeneca's vaccines.
AstraZeneca and Janssen vaccines are expected to be given in medical facilities while Pfizer and Moderna will need new inoculation centers.

"There will be two routes of inoculation as the preservation and distribution differs depending on the type of the vaccine."

Experts say that preparing the extreme low temperature cold chain distribution channel for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and educating medical personnel on their management will be a new challenge.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.
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