(Photo: Reuters-Yonhap News)
South Korea is reportedly close to striking a deal to buy COVID-19 vaccines from U.S. drugmaker Novavax.
According to Yonhap News, informed sources said Tuesday that the government has been negotiating with the company to get shots for 10 million people as early as the second quarter of this year.
Novavax's investigational vaccine can be shipped and stored at standard refrigeration temperatures as opposed to mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna that require freezing temperatures.
The government earlier said it secured access to vaccines for 56 million people from four pharmaceutical companies and the World Health Organization's COVAX vaccine program.
The deals include 20 million doses each from AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna, which require two shots, and six million doses from Johnson & Johnson's Janssen, which requires one shot.
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said authorities have been working to secure additional vaccines due to lingering uncertainties surrounding inoculation.
On Monday, President Moon Jae-in said all South Koreans will get vaccinated against COVID-19 free of charge, starting in phases next month.
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