South Korea has secured enough vaccines for its entire population but is working on a deal to acquire more.
President Moon Jae-in made this announcement on Wednesday while visiting a COVID-19 vaccine production plant.
"There's a new possibility of securing additional vaccines for another 20 million people, on top of the 56 million we already have. There is a deal in place between Novavax and SK Bioscience. The government is planning to buy the entire quantity in advance."
The president vowed support for the country's bio companies so they can produce vaccines locally and give South Korea vaccine sovereignty.
As part of the agreement, SK Bioscience will be able to produce the vaccines.
South Korea has secured 56 million COVID-19 vaccines in total from a number of different companies.
And with the potential Novavax vaccine, there will be enough for 20 million more people.
In the meantime, health authorities say it hasn't been decided when the Novavax vaccines will arrive in the country and that more details will be announced later this month.
But this differs from the Prime Minister's remarks on Wednesday that the initial supply from the COVAX facility is likely to arrive in February.
The country’s daily caseload is showing signs of a slowdown but health authorities have reiterated why the stronger social distancing measures are still in place.
"No gatherings of five or more is a measure made for the third wave. This will not depend on the number of daily cases, but on a general judgement of how long the third wave is likely to last and what the risks are."
On Wednesday, there were 404 new cases 373 local and 31 imported.
There are currently more than 300 patients who are severely ill and with 17 additional fatalities, the death toll is at 13-hundred.
Jang Tae-hyun, Arirang News.